Scotland Slavery Museum

I have recently completed the final year of my undergraduate studies after 5 years at Strathclyde.  During this time, I have developed an interest in timber construction especially the modern technologies of CLT and glulam.  Ensuring buildings are sustainable for the environment, society and the economy are all equally important.   I have become increasingly interested in circular design principles and have spent time considering many of these factors in my work including lowering embodied carbon, the whole life cycle of a building, lowering energy consumption and increasing renewable energy usage.

This year I spent time designing a slavery museum on the site of the former Kingston Dockyard in Tradeston.  2020 was a year that showed everyone the importance and need to better educate our country in our true involvement in the slave trade and the hardships that are still experienced by black lives.  The wealth of Glasgow largely grew from the slave trade but often little is known about this by the local residents.  Therefore, proposing a museum within the city centre on a river front site seeks to progress society and further develop Glasgow’s identity.

The building takes visitors on a journey, initially connecting with the River Clyde before descending into the basement to learn about the slave trade and Scottish involvement.  Visitors pass through a series of contrasting dark small spaces and a light open full height void to evoke the trauma other humans once endured.  Once at the top floor of the building visitors again reconnect with the river in spaces which hang within the void allowing a moment to consider what has been learnt and to look towards positive change for the future.

The museum is constructed from CLT, glulam and a timber space frame which spans across the second-floor ceiling.  The exterior is Scottish timber, which while unusual for a city centre stands out from the existing urban form in Glasgow.  This building will enhance the community of Tradeston by providing a place of learning, creating new business opportunities and a visually appealing structure.