The Clyde Laboratory / A Folly sits in the Forest – Bowling, Scotland / Gauja, Latvia © Charles Dunn

The Clyde Laboratory / A Folly sits in the Forest – Bowling, Scotland / Gauja, Latvia

Charles Dunn

Mackintosh School of Architecture

Project Description

Clyde Laboratory:
Sitting low, this Boat Recovery Centre is rooted in its landscape. Its form is closely related to the tectonics of the site and in turn allows the visitor to engage directly with the contour of the land throughout the building.

By exploring sacred typologies, there is an attempt to consider the functions of the building in a sacred and ritualistic manner and in doing so create a building which calmly and quietly inhabits its surroundings.

A Folly Sits in the Forest:
Inspired by the sandstone outcrops found throughout the Gauja national park, the visitor centre is as much as a sculptural outcrop as as public building.

It's vertical rhythm serves to cut through the surrounding trees. Externally devoid of conventional architectural cues, it remains an object within the landscape.

A rich timber interior continues the vertical rhythm and acts as a celebration of the Latvian vernacular.

Sustainability Agenda

Clyde Laboratory:
By employing water source heat pumps and a shallow, southernly oriented plan, this building serves to minimise its carbon emissions while maximising its use of natural energy sources such as solar gain and strong, south westerly winds to both heat and cool the building.

Its location on a disused ship yard also minimises upset to surrounding wildlife as it utilises an existing industrial site, repurposing an otherwise derelict and contaminated piece of land.

A Folly sits in the forest:
Modular construction is explored by specifying regular sized members throughout the visitor centre, minimising cost and construction time as well as harmful materials. This works in conjunction with the repetitive nature of the facade and the use of local timber throughout acts to minimise embodied energy. Its simplicity is its environmental strength.