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AJ Student Prize 2018: The Mackintosh School of Architecture

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The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by the Glasgow School of Art

About the Mackintosh School of Architecture

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, Diploma in Architecture, Master of Architecture (by conversion), Master of Architectural Studies (taught), MSc in Environmentalb Architecture 
  • Location Glasgow
  • Head of School Sally Stewart 
  • Full-time tutors 16 
  • Part-time tutors 31 
  • Number of students 456 
  • Fees Home/EU £1,820, rest of UK £9,250, overseas £16,800


William McRoberts, BA (Hons) Architecture

10 between inside and outside

10 between inside and outside

Project title The Glasgow Seed Library

Project description The Glasgow Seed Library is a civic space of intrigue, wonderment and a precursor for change. Until recently, farmers saved seeds and allowed crops to adapt. In 1926 hybrid seeds were first marketed as a way of improving yield. However, new standardised hybrid seeds must be purchased each year, halting the natural cycle and decaying the agricultural gene bank. The Glasgow Seed Library is part of a greater network of civic seed libraries which grow, store and lend heritage-variety fruit and vegetable seeds to the public, stimulating the natural cycle and encouraging agrobiodiversity. To promote adaptive reuse, a disused car park is chosen to host the seed library. The car park’s extensive floorplates are adapted and cut to create a sequence of double-height growing spaces, wrapped with a new glazed façade. A monolithic tower punctures the structural grid to form a place for seed processing, storage, and borrowing. Seeds remain at the heart of the library, kept cool in the central core by the evaporation of groundwater pumped from the central well.

9 isometric section technology

9 isometric section technology

Tutor citation ‘A strong conceptual framework was established at an early stage and then developed through deploying an exemplary range of relevant research, analysis, and testing tools and skills. Despite the focus on technology, this project was driven by a spatial ambition which also led to a strategic selection of construction materials relevant in the determination of an appropriate solution to the existing structure and site context.’ Tilo Einert


Taylor Steel, Diploma in Architecture

Pattern for future growth conceptual model

Pattern for future growth conceptual model

Project title Framework for a Common Urbanism: A Reaction Against Speculative and Capital Driven Urbanism in the City of Madrid

Project description In the 2000s Spain drastically reformed its urban planning policies, deregulating land controls and liberalising the real estate market in an attempt to accumulate capital and attract foreign investment. This resulted in a plethora of immense speculative infrastructural and urban development being initiated across the country, transforming the peripheral regions of the city of Madrid into a wasteland of urban sprawl. The main drivers of profit and capital accumulation have manifested in urbanised areas that are vastly out of scale, excessive in their consumption of resources, insufficiently designed to suit the climatic conditions and lacking in any form of social infrastructure to support social capital in the urban realm. Framework for a Common Urbanism challenges this by proposing a strategy for future urban growth that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. The thesis explores how architecture and urban form can facilitate the sustained governance of local and global, finite and intangible common resources, through a horizontally democratic and polycentric system of self-governance and dense, interconnected networks of co-operative organisations. 

Engrained social infrastructure

Engrained social infrastructure

Tutor citation ‘Taylor has operated with a consistent, disciplined process of investigation and tackled contemporary issues facing European cities. The research, evaluation and synthesis has been consistent in her working methodology, resulting in a project that speculates on the spatial and urban impacts of shared communal understandings.’ Miranda Webster

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