In the late 1960s, when the department and its building were but a few years old, architecture students at the University of Strathclyde pioneered community participation in planning and architecture through the vehicle of tenement rehabilitation. Following highly successful dissertations and thesis projects, an official research unit was formed by the department which acted as a catalyst for the establishment of community based housing associations across Glasgow. Although the project was largely a reaction against the disintegration of established communities in the name of urban renewal, it also inadvertently initiated the rise in popularity of tenement conservation in the city, and is to some extent directly responsible for how Glasgow looks today.


Image 1: The ASSIST team outside the office at 925 Govan Road in 1973. “With its architectural red and black painted doors and windows, it was a ‘community architecture’ shop, one of the very first in the UK.” (Raymond Young)

Image 2: 13 Rosebery Street, Oatlands, used to identify front elevation and roof items for each address in the joint Scottish Development Department and City of Glasgow Tenement Survey, 1973. Drawn by Peter Robinson.

Image 3: Arrangement of plumbing for kitchens and bathrooms within a typical Oatlands tenement. Drawn by Peter Robinson for the Scottish Development Department Joint Housing Development Unit 1969-70.

Image 4: Demonstration flat kitchen with the bed recess wall cut away to show a mocked-up toilet, washbasin, storage and tanks. From The Rehabilitation in Glasgow Study, Gourlay Street, 1968- 9. (Peter Robinson, fifth year thesis)

Image 5: The first bathroom to be installed in a bed recess, 1972. John and Annie Gibbons’ flat, 2/1, 10 Luath Street Govan. (Raymond Young)

Images 2—4 taken from: Architectural Heritage XXI (2010): 75–92, Edinburgh University Press, DOI: 10.3366/arch.2011.0007

Images 1&5 taken from: Architectural Heritage XXI (2010): 93–108, Edinburgh University Press, DOI: 10.3366/arch.2011.0008

© The Architectural Heritage Society