New Practice
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The Barras

 

The Barras

 
The Barras is an area, ten minutes walk to the east of Glasgow’s city centre, with a history, and reputation, that precedes it.

The Barrowlands Market, and Barrowlands Ballroom, hold a special place in the collective conscious of the city. As times and trade have changed, the area has been redefining its identity and future life.

The area has been a point of curiosity for our practice since day one. Our first studio, in 2011, was located in the heart of the market and The Barras is where our Glasgow office is based today, at Many Studios.
 
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The Charlie’s Market building on Ross Street is somewhat shrouded in myth. Depending on who you ask, it has, at one time or another, served as a carpet factory, a garage, a women’s refuge, and a soap factory.

 
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In 2013 we partnered with a local landlord to develop the building. We secured funding from Glasgow City Council through their pilot Floorspace Grant scheme. This project, Many Studios, was one of four projects within the area benefiting from this scheme.

Many Studios is a creative hub, home to over 60 artists and creative practitioners.

For us, the project was representative of the kind of work that we wanted to be delivering - a clear statement about who we are as a practice.
 
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Our approach to the redevelopment of the building was strategic, resourceful, and thoughtful.

With a modest budget we ensured that the building was safe, warm and functional. We repurposed the existing staircase, rotating it 90 degrees. Budget was dedicated to allow for the installation of large windows out on to the street - inviting people to look in. Above all we wanted to build a sense of permeability into the fabric of the building.

We wanted to counter the cliche of a creative organisation moving into an ‘edgy’ part of town.

By fully allowing the building to become part of the street, hosting markets, exhibitions, and film screenings, Many Studios expands far beyond the building that contains it.
 
 
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Within The Barras self reliant and informal structures exist, that do not necessarily conform to the structures and guidelines for the rest of the city. As such there is a degree of mistrust towards council funded and managed work. Our role was often to act as a translator between the formal and informal.

In the run up to the opening of Many Studios we hosted The Barras Banquet - inviting members of the community to join us for a theatrical dining event on the street alongside decision makers, local and high level organisations to discuss the change process, and to share memories of the area.
As tenants of Many Studios we are determined to actively inhabit the area, seeking out opportunities and initiating projects to link together new and existing communities.

Since 2014 we’ve programmed temporary and permanent artworks, created digital and printed maps for the area and worked with architecture students to design new market stalls.
 
 
 
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Installing inflatable sculptures as part of Pulse - a series of temporary and permanent artworks - 2014

Installing inflatable sculptures as part of Pulse - a series of temporary and permanent artworks - 2014

 
 
Artists films projected in to the windows - 2014

Artists films projected in to the windows - 2014

 
 
Spend a day in The Barras - an online and printed guide to the area - 2016

Spend a day in The Barras - an online and printed guide to the area - 2016

 
 

Many Studios

Many Studios is a creative hub. The converted market hall spans an entire city block and is home to workspace for artists and creative organisations, public facing galleries and shops.
 
 

  • Client: Many Studios CIC

  • Location: Glasgow, Scotland

  • Completion: 2016

  • Funding: Glasgow City Council, The Scottish Government

  • Awards: Scottish Quality in Planning Award 2018, Herald Society Award 2015