Hey guys! Ryan here. you probably don’t know me as i took a year out between 4th and final year. Hope everyone’s having a good summer (despite the weather). As you can see by the title i have become very interested in the urban development of Belfast. Belfast has experienced a development boom in the past 10 years since the ‘troubles’ ended to some extent and as a city was playing ‘catch up’ to the rest of the capital cities in the UK. There is a lot of development happening as we speak principally the Titanic Quarter which as you can probably tell is built on the site where the Titanic was constructed.
This development of Belfast is happening in pockets and there are some areas that are being overlooked. One of these areas is East Belfast an area that is home to the majority of my family. This area used to be home to the tens of thousands of workers in the Harland and Wolff shipyard and the area was a very animated place. But like many industrial cities in the world once the main industry has left the area becomes a shadow of what it once was. The Titanic Quarter development is situated very close to East Belfast and is set to take the commercial and financial side of Belfast to a new level. These two areas are separated by a dual carrigeway which is actually in rush hour the busiest road in europe. For my main research project i am going to look at how i can integrate this area that is full of history back into the city of Belfast by maybe creating a focal point piece of architecture to form a link between these two areas. I fear that if something is not done these two areas could end up drifting further apart in the economic scale.
For my summer project I have been looking at Belfasts most famous landmark the Harland and Wolff cranes. There is a lot of questions over what to do with these objects and i think a bit of lateral thinking is needed to really make these work as a landmark.