| Author: Paschalis Kyrtsopoulos
| Tutors: Ewan Imrie, Elizabeth Smith
| University of Strathclyde
The project shortlisted and won the following awards:
-Shortlisted for the Glasgow Institute of Architecture – 5th Year (2017)
-Finalist for the Royal Scottish Academy Award (2017)
-Glasgow City Council – Eimear Kelt Medal (2017)
-The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Rowand Anderson Silver Medal for best 5th year student(2017)
– Honourable Mention on the European Architectural Medals for the Best Diploma Projects
As it is more and more apparent that Brexit is becoming a reality and we could potentially have Scottish independence around the corner. How can the youth become more integrated and bring about positive change to current political idiosyncrasies, and how the government works towards implementing honest, forward thinking political policies?
Today the youth is characterised by apathy and low turnouts in the elections and that’s due to the complexity of the representational system today and also its outdated format.
The Victorian Electoral System that we use is controversial however, there is no alternative workable system has been designed, only coined. People who dislike the process often disengage. Some look for the next best thing. They tweet their views, participate in polls on Facebook or seek other ways to influence their desired outcomes. We need to mobilize the youth out of apathy through engagement to allow them to make informed actions, to make drastic decisions about their futures.
The devolution that has took place over the past twenty years has worked towards the simplification of the political system in devolved nations, forcing people to make direct decision’s in the political spectrum. This devolution appears to develop further within the next 25 years where most forecasts predict Scotland as an independent country. However, is Scotland prepared to take the responsibilities from Westminster and establish a new country?
The main elements that will define the new country are the currency and the constitution. This project concentrates on the constitution and law making in Scotland, after its independence. The design of the revolutionised government with its increased responsibilities, will need to facilitate new ministries with people and organisations that cannot fit in the tight Holyrood Parliament.
The main idea is to spread the new Ministries in the 10 regions of Scotland and also to create regional Parliaments based on the idea of direct Democracy that happens in Switzerland and Canada. The allocation of the new Ministries should be carefully decided on based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation in Scotland so that new jobs, and government services can be created in the most deprived areas in each region.
The proposal for Glasgow is a new Ministry of Education, due to its history in education and innovation and the large number of students. The Ministry will work hand in hand with the existing Scottish Youth parliament which will get its own base. Together, they will synergise decisions about the future of education in Scotland, and the facilities will be located in Calton which is one of the most deprived area of Glasgow.
The area in front of the People’s Palace that lies between Moteith Row and London Road is the chosen site for this venture, not only because of the pertinent history in the political realm and demonstrations during the 20th century, but also the fact that it is the Eastern Gateway to Glasgow where character and steady investment seems to have disappeared. Furthermore the site is located in front of a large public park, in line with the People’s Palace and perpendicular to Templeton Building, this creates a scene of linear connections between historic and government buildings similar to most European cities such as in Paris , and Berlin.
The design of the new masterplan is developed on the bases of the ancient Greek Agora which is a colonnade path with Theatres, Museum and Places of Worship bordering and lead to the Vouleytirion Parliament. In the case of the Scottish Youth parliament, the area between the buildings will used as an extension of The Barras which connects to the Parliament building. The development of the masterplan will provide facilities not only for the Youth parliament and the Ministry but also for visitors on Glasgow Green.
The idea for the Scottish youth parliament and its upside down pyramids is taken from the need to reverse the political hierarchy of this society, and also from the infamous carpet weaving history involved in the area incorporating the triangular shapes that the traditional weaving loom creates. The building reminds us of a machine which weaves a tapestry of ideas into realistic political tapestries, i.e ;- constitutional blueprints, another key focus for the design of the building, turning the political stratosphere on its head as expressed by the overturned pyramid .
The decision for two different buildings is been taken due to safety and functionality requirements. The SYP consist of three pyramids, the reading atrium, the NGOs offices and in the heart of the building the main chambers. Collectively they use the New Proposed Glasgow Green Station as a base which was previously located next to Templeton and now is abandoned. The smaller block, which consist of two pyramids is site for the Ministry of Education which is located in front of the open amphitheatre and the Woman’s memorial.
The linear relationship of the building is not only conceivable but also succeeded through a frame metal structure which can be visited by residents and protesters who want to contribute their protests or to have their ideas visually represented to raise awareness through the use of banners/posters etc.
The large public spaces under the pyramids creates the sense that users can develop political dialogue and debate within the natural environment and also through the heritage which is reflected through the facades of People’s Palace and Templeton.
This can be easily understood even from the entrance of the building, the threshold provides a through space from the pyramids allowing views across Glasgow Green. Offering an almost topological sight over Peoples Palace and Glasgow green, provided from the Main Chambers of the Scottish Youth Parliament .