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Student recognised for Glasgow Commonwealth Games building design


David Weir-McCall (24) from the city’s Ashgrove Road, who graduated from Robert Gordon University (RGU) earlier this month, has been recognised in a UK-wide design competition for his project exploring the legacy of buildings constructed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Adaptable Futures - InteriorThe BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology graduate, originally from Fort William, entered ‘Designing for Adaptable Futures’ (DAF) during his final year of study at RGU’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment and received an honourable mention from the group’s international panel of judges.

The competition, led by a research group based at Loughborough University which focuses on creating adaptable spaces and buildings from both a physical and social perspective, invited students from around the UK to illustrate how the life of a building unfolds through time and can accommodate change.

David’s project ‘Designing for Sport’ looks at the legacy of the buildings constructed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and proposes an energy-generating dome as a permanent public landmark that adapts to shifting climates and functions as a stadium, education centre or green space.

The innovative proposal also put forth designs to create smaller spaces or stadiums for sports such as fencing and martial arts under a single roof, with the large domed structure allowing for the internal components to be rearranged and adapted.

David comments:

“As a designer it is important to consider how people can both use and view a building even after its original purpose has changed. In my proposal, I have re-imagined a Commonwealth Games venue by giving it longevity and emphasising its relationship with those in the surrounding area.

“A local sense of identity is encourAdaptable Futures - Domeaged by facilitating community engagement and creating opportunities for local people to actively use the space. Future developments for the site after the Games could be as an educational centre, botanical garden or to host public events and local art.” 

In addition to submitting a design proposal, David created a film focussing on the layered roof structure – a grid shell dome. His external design attaches fibre optic rods to the ‘skin’ of the roof which oscillate with the wind to harvest kinetic energy to generate sufficient power for the buildings. 

Minimal wind and other elements are allowed to enter the space around the base of the structure to create an open internal communal area protected from rain and direct sunlight. The designs also use prefabricated materials allowing for easy deconstruction to suit future projects.

David continues:

“I wanted to leave behind preconceived notions of large immobile structures constructed from glass and steel which often dominate the riverside and skylines of cities such as Glasgow.

“I’m delighted that my proposal has been recognised by such a renowned group as the DAF panel. During my final year, I have been constantly encouraged and supported by my tutors to challenge traditional structures in order to make a building more adaptable to different events and activities.”

David graduated from the Scott Sutherland School on 13 July and now hopes to continue designing and developing innovative technology alongside architecture. 

Issued by:
Sarah Grieve
Communications Officer | Design & Tech
Robert Gordon University
Schoolhill
Aberdeen
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206
Email: s.j.grieve@rgu.ac.uk.