Cumbernauld: Citizens' Precinct

Foundational Architecture is a practice established to speculatively investigate the impacts of UBI on towns and their local communities, and how an architectural programme can support a re-investment in and strengthening of their Foundational Economies. Our manifesto considers “The Three B’s: Big, Bold, Brave”, aiming to explore what large measure interventions can achieve, holding the mirror up to current conditions and starting a dialogue.

Our intention is to work with existing infrastructure and built fabric. In this sense, this scheme (our pilot project) is not a ground-zero re-design or ‘new’ masterplan, rather a ‘site response’, utilising (mostly) available space, that serves to provide what is perceived to be lacking – significantly, leisure facilities and improved public realm and wayfinding. Our goal is to celebrate what already exists by complimenting and adding to it. 

We have chosen Cumbernauld as the location for this project because it is a town with a renowned and celebrated history of big, visionary thinking and mega-structure architecture. We aim to celebrate that and build upon it.

Although we felt an existing site and established location is necessary for us to effectively develop, realise and communicate our design vision, the ideas contained herein are not specific to Cumbernauld; rather, this design thesis should be considered as a conceptual framework that can be made adaptable to any town.

The Citizens’ Precinct is a complex that seeks to reinterpret mega-structure architecture and the ‘social condenser’, functioning as a holistic entity and destination point. The project aims to meet the needs of both young and aging populations – giving everyone, accessible ‘places to be’, ‘people to see’, and ‘things to do’, effectively seeking to bring life and leisure back to town centres, creating a genuine intergenerational, cradle-to-grave experience, fostering meaning and purpose for the resident population.