This year’s year one M Arch studio is located in the Gaeltacht Quarter in West Belfast alongside the arterial route of the Falls Road (that connects the West of the City with the city Centre). The students are working with community partners/actors to regenerate 3 sites alongside the Falls Road. Culture has been a key element of regeneration in Belfast. The sites are different in nature (1) A school site, (2), a car park site with next to a College with a building opposite (3) a business park.
Working in groups to produce Urban Design Strategies and a detailed masterplan for each site (1-3) that also takes into account the whole Strip. While students have to develop their own brief and freedom is encouraged, they also must take into account the existing site context and Street Frontage to the Falls and produce a series of buildings/open spaces that work with the studio themes:
2-community led regeneration and
3-peripheral landscape of the Strip.
Much of the landscape of this Strip is made of voids/empty spaces/terrain vagues left as a result of the conflict, and also lack of development. When looking at the three sites the urban fabric of the context in these empty spaces and landscapes is an essential component.