ILLUMINING SPRINGBURN | SPRINGBURN WINTER GARDEN RESTORATION
The project began with a trip through Glasgow when I discovered the Springburn Winter Gardens. I was intrigued by its massive vaulted roof and wondered why it had fallen into disrepair. Further research into SWG made me realise he was more than just a winter garden; he represented Springburn in its most flourishing period. I, therefore, saw the restoration and reuse of this building as an opportunity to activate Springburn.
The particular challenge for this project is that I need to think not only about the building itself but also about how to improve Springburn’s social issues through adaptive reuse. The occasion for identifying the new function is discovering the overlap between the Springburn Poverty Map and the Literacy Hotspot Map, which led me to think about the relationship between poverty and illiteracy. The idea of an illiterate library is based on this particular social context.
There seems to be a paradox in this proposal. How can illiterate people read? This is the critical question for this project and also the breakthrough. UNESCO states, “If people are to stay literate, they must have access to a wide variety of written materials and continue the habit of reading in their adult lives” (UNESCO: Basic). I think the unique point of the library in this project is that it will allow illiterate people to read confidently since Illiteracy is both desired and feared when it comes to words. Finally, I hope this place will become a beacon to guide the redevelopment of Springburn.
For Renovation of Springburn Winter Gardens
Due to the importance of the building to Springburn, the restoration of the building has become particularly important. However, due to the imperfection of the original data on the building, restoration can only be carried out through historical photographs and some written descriptions. The project proposes a restoration plan based on historical photos and written descriptions, including the reconstruction of the north, south and east cultivation rooms, the restoration of the original window and door, and the modification of original interior elements.
The most important part of this building is the steel structure glass roof. The roof was designed to allow for plant growth in the winter and was thus built with plant growth in mind. The original function of the building had to be changed in some way to be reused to suit the current social situation. This project focuses on the design of a sunshade structure to cool the indoor space. Although relatively ineffective in terms of cooling, the sunshade is an essential part of human activity in the interior.
To preserve the original internal façade of the building and to retain the original circulation lines, a mezzanine structure has been designed in the middle of the building to improve space utilisation.
For Illiteracy Friendly Library
The starting point for this project was the renovation of an old building after learning about the history of the building and the social context of the community. I began thinking of ways the building could be a switch to activate Springburn. The Illiteracy Friendly Library was proposed after a thorough study of the current social situation in Springburn and relevant theoretical material.
The book Moonlight Schools is crucial in setting the theme for this project. There are many parallels between the story in this book and the current situation in Springburn, in which both the people in the book and the people in Springburn have many obstacles in their way to reading. In the book, moonlight is used to light the way. I let the light from the roof of the Springburn winter garden be the “moonlight” to guide people. The illiteracy-friendly library is the place that lights up the area. When people come here at night to read, the light through the roof will light up their way. I wish the light could not only light up the park but also light up the hearts of the people in this community.