The Millennium Hut vs. The Dorchester Project

Claire Barclay, The Millennium Hut (1999)
Pg. 112

Located in Glasgow, Scottland

Community building designed by Claire Barclay with the help of Glasgow based architects.

The Building housed a community garden store, workshop, library, space for growing plants and a “viewing platform.”

The Millennium Hut was built from recycled materials and used solar panels for its power.


The Hut was an icon for future urban renewal in areas where it was needed.

The Hut also promoted sustainable living through the use of recycled materials and natural power. 


The hut was open to anyone.

Encouraged building community participation.

Sought to bring together the ethnically diverse neighborhood that surrounded the Millennium Hut. 

Political Outcomes

Through multiple projects similar to the Millennium hut the neighborhoods were able to generate 34 million pounds.  

Theaster Gates, The Dorchester Project  (2009-)
Pg. 160

Located in Chicago’s south side.

Theater Gates has bought and rehabbed three abandoned buildings.

He renovated the buildings using recycled materials from other disused buildings in the Chicago area. 

The house has many roles

A house used to promote social change in an area where it is needed.           
            A place for preserving archives that would otherwise be thrown out. 
A place where artist’s ideas can grow and be shared.
            A house where people can meet and share dinner.


Used as gathering site for artists or those who want to meet to discuss social change in a decaying neighborhood.


The project was used for holding the “archives” of some of Chicago’s history.

14,000  books form a closed bookstore.
60,000 glass slides from the University of Chicago.  
8,000 vinyl records from a closed record shop.

A large collection of information and knowledge that would otherwise be thrown away is now preserved and fully accessible through the Dorchester Project.

Political impacts  

While the project is seen as generating positive development towards the renewal of the neighborhood, it has also received hate mail.   

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