Our RIBA design competition entry was a collaboration between the Glasgow and Inverness studios to propose innovative uses for existing Gasometer bases, across a variety of National Grid-owned sites.
The unique brief provided a platform toexplore concepts for the regeneration of post-industrial sites throughout the UK. The first phase of the design took place at the 2017 Threesixty Architecture annual conference as a full practice design charrette.
This collaborative energy and enthusiasm delivered interesting concepts and exciting solutions to the brief. The end of the charrette culminated in each team presenting their proposal to the rest of the studio, no easy task!
Using the underlying themes generated during the design workshop; technology, sustainability and social care, the final submission ‘Memory City’ was developed and produced by a cross studio team.
Competition Mission Statement
Following the deconstruction of the structural frame and gas holder tank, we proposed the introduction of subterranean data centres with elderly care accommodation above to meet the increasing demand for data storage whilst catering for our ageing population. This seemingly unlikely partnership complements each other through the harnessing of excess heat generated by the data centre, used to provide warm, comfortable and sustainable homes, eradicating fuel poverty for the elderly.
The form of the care community structures echoes that of the gas holders. The introduction of a central core acts as vertical circulation, structural support and a heat extraction source. The storeys are constructed of modular adaptable accommodation, stacked vertically and partially rotated, creating a series of stepped shared terraces, encouraging community interaction and vital access to green space on every level for every resident whilst the urban park provides an essential link between all residents and the wider community.
Data centres inhabit the memory of the gasometers, contain digital memory and provide an opportunity to capture and preserve human memory through recorded oral histories of the rich lives led by the residents of the community above.
You can view the competition submission here: https://360architecture.com/projects/public-education/gas-holder-bases/