Introduction to architecture in Scotland

Shanty village in India (left), and shanty project in Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Scotland, (right).

Hola, me llamo Scott. Soy estudiante de arquitectura en Escocia en la universidad de Aberdeen, (Scott Sutherland School of Architecture). Llevo cuatro años estudiando en la Universidad, pero ahora estoy en La Coruña realizando un año de prácticas.

Our introduction to architecture in Scotland is to construct a building of our own. The project is to build a small shelter on a limited budget (€80) in groups of 6 students in the grounds of the university. With such a small budget it is necessary to obtain most of the construction materials from our surroundings. The brief for the building is to be something like the shanties or favelas seen in the developing world – homes that are made from natural materials or rubbish that is close to hand, as their occupants have little or no money to buy materials. We therefore have to use items that we can find in the university campus, which is set in a forest on the banks of a river outside the city centre. As such the homes end up being made from tree branches, plastic sheets, plywood and even an old boat sail. The project is intended to teach students about the elemental principles of architecture; shelter and security from the natural environment, principally the weather. It is also the first time that most students make something of a scale to accommodate people and work with basic construction and structure. The assessment of how successful the finished building is, is based on whether we are able to sleep for one November night in the shelter with only a sleeping bag.

My group’s project in the photograph above passed this test. We were able to fit all 6 people and remained dry for the night. It also remained quite warm as the heat generated by the people inside was retained by two layers of plastic that made an air pocket for insulation.
If you have any questions about our project, I will be happy to answer them.