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Stephen Johnson

Habitable Infrastructure

How might we better integrate Glasgow’s industrial infrastructure into the ecology of the city?

Along Bridgegate in Glasgow are a series of substantial brick railway arches, fanning out from the Union Railway Bridge, which once carried multiple railway tracks into the now-demolished St. Enoch’s Railway station. Formerly the site of Paddy’s Market, the railway arches beneath this complex structure are now derelict. Like similar nineteenth-century railway structures all over Britain, these substantial structures are now without a purpose, recalling both the infrastructure that has been lost and the informal businesses that formerly populated its ground-level spaces.

With two freight-only railway lines skirting the edge of the site, there is now an opportunity to re-imagine this structure. This project aims to breathe new life into a historic piece of infrastructure in Glasgow by once again providing opportunities to the people around it. The scheme cuts into and then builds atop the railway arches, providing a combination of refurbished and new-build accommodation of workspaces. Integrating a co-working and start-up hub, the scheme gives the East End of Glasgow a new centre for creativity, entrepreneurship and opportunity. Meanwhile, at ground level, the reinstatement of Paddy’s Market will restore some of the informal entrepreneurial activity associated with the site, regenerating livelihoods that were recently lost.

Stephen Johnson