Space for Practice
Published on 15 July 2016
Space for Practice was created to run as a fringe project alongside the 2016 Festival of Architecture, which was itself part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation and Design 2016. The project ran across three of Scotland’s architecture schools simultaneously.
Each architecture school developed a community-based project which responded to a real, specific, design problem needing to be solved, and involved local community members in project development. Cross-school day-long workshops took place at the beginning and end of the project, hosted by us in Dundee, where students, staff and community members from each project worked together to maximise the potential of design proposals.
A group of our Year 2 students were asked to address the problem of the vacant station buildings at Broughty Ferry’s railway station, the oldest station still in operation in Scotland. The primary aim of the project was to propose an appropriate, sustainable use for the buildings which sit at the heart of the town. We worked with our Lead Client, Jan McTaggart, representing the Broughty Ferry Traders Association, to develop a brief and design proposals for an Arts Residency Centre which developed through community consultation. The students’ drawings, models and visualisations have helped support the community’s bid for funding with progress underway to bring the buildings back into use. The project has offered students a broader experience of the role of the architect, asking them to use their analytical skills to question the existing situation and interpret their clients’ requirements. There was a realisation that in architectural practice the answer is not always a proposal for a new building, but can be an imaginative reinterpretation of the existing situation, to clarify and strengthen intrinsic qualities.