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Making Belfast

MArch Unit - 2016-2017


Queen’s University Belfast

Supervisors
Agustina Martire
Theo Dales
Alan Jones

Editors
Agustina Martire
Anna Skoura
Jo Neill

Collaborators
Riccardo Marini
Diarmaid Lawlor
Chris Karelse
Sam Tyler

Students
Antoine Trallero
Art Crawford
Brian Maguire
Clement Bonnerat
Eddie McKewon
Ed Mitchem
Eunan Deeney
Gillian Ran Zheng
Jo Neill
Lauren Willey
Marty Carlin
Muthu Palaniappan
Sarah Wright

ISBN 978-1-909731-05-9
Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all those involved in making this book.


Thanks to the QUB MArch and Feilden Clegg Bradley for the funds
provided to edit and produce this book.
Thanks to the Culture and Society Cluster at QUB for funding the
exhibition to launch the book and showcase the work of the students.
Thanks to Riccardo and Diarmaid for all their help in Glasgow and
Belfast, which encouraged us to develop the work further. Thanks to
Jo and Anna for the work in the edition process. Thanks to Theo for an
exciting semester of teaching and learning. Thanks to Alan, Chris and Sam
for the advice within reviews.
And thanks to all the students for the enthusiasm, commitment and hard
work.

Agustina Martire
‘The struggle between the corporate
4

city and the urban village


continues in our time. It is fought
not only in terms of the brick and
mortar of the new construction
projects, but also in terms of which
groups have the right to inhabit both
old and new city forms’

Sharon Zukin, Naked City


Introduction

5
Belfast, like most cities, is made of blocks and plots. The shapes,
proportions, materials and rhythms of blocks and plots reflect the history,
uses and economies that make the city. But what actually shapes Belfast?
Do plots and blocks reflect or actively shape the economy of Belfast? How
does this affect the way people live and use the city? These questions are
addressed by exploring the built fabric of Belfast through the corridor that
connects Belfast city centre with Queen’s Quarter. Bedford Street, Dublin
Road and Botanic Avenue create a corridor that offers a diverse and
adaptable fabric with a large range of scales and uses. The potential of this
corridor is large, providing spaces for intervention in the built fabric and
the urban design of the public realm.

Working, living and playing should be part of the everyday life of the
city, and the built fabric should provide these spaces. Solid and adaptable
architecture encourages a range of different activities in and around
buildings, while allowing change to happen. Constant demolition and
rebuilding cannot be the only way of coping with the changing city, and
cannot be sustained. We have to find a compromise between the existing
city and the planned one. Our studio investigated this Belfast corridor,
by confronting it with similar scenarios abroad, focusing our interest in
Glasgow, a highly comparable example.

The book shows the work of the Master of Architecture Studio Unit:
Making Belfast throughout one semester of dedicated work to unravel
the urban form, economy, mobility and character of the streets studied.

Agustina Martire
TABLE OF CONTENTS

URBAN FORM P 9

ECONOMY P 45

MOBILITY P 101

CHARACTER P 121
URBAN FORM
12
Brian Maguire

Belfast City Corridor Analysis - Pavement


Urban Morphology

13
The study corridor is a well trodden part of Belfast for those of us who
live in the south of the city, a familiar path through the cafes, bars and
restaurants of Botanic to the eclectic mix of the Dublin road and finally
to the fringe of the commercial and business district of the city on Bed-
ford street. It is only by taking a different view point that this familiar
part of the city that one would presume to know well, that it becomes
clear how it is constructed and how the corridor is framed by the fabric
of the city. Viewed from above in plan, what feels almost like a straight
path is in fact kinked, the missing blocks and plots become clear.

We believe in learning through drawing, the very act of carefully look-


ing and then recording reveals much more that a casual glance or even
a photograph. By carefully drawing in plan and section we can start
to understand the relations ships between not just plan and elevation
but between the scale and massing of the buildings compared to their
building type and use of plot.
14
Brian Maguire

Belfast City Corridor Analysis - Streets


15

Belfast City Corridor Analysis - Green spaces


16
Brian Maguire

Dub
oad lin R
lin R oad
Dub

Bedford Street
Bedford Street/Dublin Road/Botanic Avenue

17
Within this initial period of urban analysis we investigated the form
of the block and plot in the corridor. From the initial drawing defining
the area, the pattern of blocks and plots becomes clearly identified. By
breaking down the fabric of the study area into three of its constituent
parts we can start to see patterns and how the parts of the corridor in-
fluence and define each other in the forms of the street, buildings and
pavement. The following series of maps of the Belfast study area form
part of the analysis of the area by identifying different aspects that
make up the built environment. By breaking down the area in this way
we can start to see patterns, problems and possible solutions.

Travelling south from the City Hall to Botanic Gardens, there are three
distinct typologies, Bedford Street nearest the city centre is firmly
block based, with large buildings filling their blocks as defined by
the road pattern. These are large, tall buildings housing government
offices, retail, private businesses and eateries. As you leave the central
business district the scale of the buildings become smaller its is on the
Dublin Rd that you can see how a more mixed pattern evolves consist-
ing of both block and plot based architecture. There is also a change of
use from the business, commercial use nearer the city centre to a more
entertainment based economy. In the third area of Botanic Avenue the
built fabric is completely plot based, largely made up of Victorian ter-
raced houses that have been adapted over the years into a wide variety
of businesses. Botanic avenue is also at a more human scale with few
building over three stories, with wide tree lined pavements.
18

Botanic Avenue Dublin Road


19
Bedford Street
20
Brian Maguire & Lauren Willey

Botanic Avenue
Plots, Blocks and White Space

21
While studying Urban Morphology we were able to use plot and block to
explore the height and spatial differences from Bedford Street to Botanic
Avenue. In order to do this, we took 100m sections on each side of the
corridor and drew elevations along with some axonometric drawings
to be able to compare each stretch along the corridor. This helped us
understand the quality of each building and also its worth within the
corridor setting.

Examining how plot and block works within a corridor led us on to a


spatial study of Filthy McNasty’s, where we tried to understand the use
of space. Although the inside space has many different uses with an
unusual layout I found the outside space quite significant. The elevation
shows how they are able to use some of the footpath to claim an outside
social area. Here they have an opportunity to engage with passers-by
and this allows the pedestrians to feel part of the exciting activity. Along
the side of Filthy McNasty’s a corridor has been created between itself
and the neighbouring hotel. We created a 3d image to portray the most
frequent type of activity that takes place within this space. The corridor
could be seen as a white space alleyway, a space that could come across
unwelcoming and intimidating but instead it has become a vibrant,
social space and happens to one of the more popular areas within Flithy
McNasty’s.

White space was once described in culinary terms as discovering a


delicious gravy or sauce after “simmering” many different ingredients
together. In architecture terms we believe it is about identifying lost spaces
or spaces that may not seem appealing at first glance, whether this is
in plot or block form or simply the space that draws them together. We
believe it is important to expose these spaces and celebrate them.
lin Road Elevations and Plan

Dublin Road
22
Brian Maguire & Lauren Willey
Bedford Street Elevations and Plan
Bedford Street

23
26
Clement Bonnerat

1
4

3
2
27

Botanic Avenue Development Study


1 Terraced houses
2 New construction, same architectural
style, adding one storey
3 Apartments, less comfortable than before
4 Destroyed Building, Apartments, Shops in
the ground floor
5 Shops in the ground floor
28
Clement Bonnerat

5
2
3
4
29
1

Dublin Road Developments Study


1 Ground floor, shops
2 Housing
3 Ground floor, shops
4 Apartments - Bedroom with no
windows
5 Terraced houses
30
Clement Bonnerat

1
2
3
4
31
5

Bedford Street Developments Study


1 The two scales of the street
2 Bedford square, a smoking area
3 Facadism, Hiding Ewart Building’s blind wall
4 Ewart Building, former linen warehouse
5 Grand Hotel, renovating Windsor House
32

1822 1888
Belfast 1884

Belfast 1822
Edward Mitchem

Belfast 1901
1901 2015
Belfast 2015
Urban Conservation

33
This research into Urban Conservation started by identifying the two
contemporary conservation areas that make up the most Northerly and
Southerly streets of the corridor. With this retention of historic architecture
at two key points of the corridor the history of the site revealed a very
organic trajectory on which the south of Belfast has formed. At the very
top of the corridor is the City Hall, formerly the White Linen hall but
rebuilt in its current grand state in 1888 to commemorate Belfast receiving
City status from Queen Victoria (Linen Hall Conservation Area). Pre-
eminent to the southerly arm of the corridor is the Lanyon building, built
adjacent to the Botanic Gardens in 1849 as the main building of Queen’s
University (Queen’s Conservation Area). These two monuments reflect an
affluent time in Belfast’s history, when the linen trade and ship-building
industry brought much prosperity to the city. As Belfast entered the 20th
Century this trade and the affluence of the last century began to diminish;
and as population fell, unemployment rose and conflictive past began to
spill into the political and economic landscape of the times. The way the
buildings were used and considered in the framework of the city began to
shift too.

The historic maps, taken from the Linen Hall Library, reveal an interesting
history engrained in the Belfast’s southern and Queen’s Quarter. A now
hidden river (Blackstaff River), extended out of the Lagan and meandered
West. This land was nearly all farmed and the river created a physical
boundary between the city and the country. The city itself finished
quite abruptly at the early building that was City Hall and almost no
architecture existed to the South. Slowly, and as the mid-19th Century
saw an increase in trade and industry, a rail station was built, two bridges
connected the city and country and a series of arterial roads were built
from these new, key points of trade. These routes, dictated by the linear
grid and the physical barrier of the river, created the juntion that is today
Shaftesbury Square.

Towards the end of the century, more architecture began to be built and
the city flourished. It was this initial building at the start of the century
and affluence that have formed the corridor defined both physically
by the river and the ‘boom’-years of 19th Century Belfast. This was
interpreted in the theories of ‘Urban Fringes’ or ‘Fixation Lines’, defined
by geographer and urbanist M.R.G Conzen.
34

1822 - 1851

1851 - 1884

1884 - 1901
Edward Mitchem

20th Century - Present


Historic building distribution within the ‘corridor’

35
Botanic Avenue
1. The Union Theological College, 1853: Established by Presbyterian
Church as a college for training ministers, today the Theological Faculty.
2. 101-111, 1886: The buildings were saved from demolition in 2015 as
they were considered to be making a positive contribution to the Queen’s
Conservation Area and no overwhelming evidence had been presented to
justify their demolition, specified by Northern Ireland Historic Buildings
Preservation Trust.
3. Botanic Railway Station: 1989-90 by McAlister Armstrong and Partners;
Single-Storey shop units developed around the Botanic Halt which
opened in 1976. Alongside is the stone railway bridge.
4. 36-40: 1868 Pair of thickset red houses with central glazed oriel,
mansard roof and canted bay windows rising to broad dormer windows
above the bracketed eaves; scrolled acanthus consoles to door cases.
Originally two private houses, by 1910 no.28 had become the Jubilee
Home for Deaf and Dumb Women and Girls, with their chaplain living
next door. (Demolished in 1992 to make car park).
5. 24-34: 1876 Terrace of two and a half storey houses in red brick laid
in Flemish bond with lighter headers; elaborate brick cornice to eaves;
polychrome chimneys with octagonal pots survive at no.28; shopfronts
added on later, all the houses having become commercial by 1930.
6. 20-22: 1868 Another fragment of two-storey terrace, stucco, with
quoins at one side, paired corbels below the gutter. This was Miss
Dick’s ladies’ school in 1880
7. Arts Theatre: 1960 Restrained three-storey modernist block in brown
brick with square staircase towers at each end.
8. Kinghan Mission for the Deaf: 1877-79 by Young & Mackenzie Three
bay church in partly coursed rough sandstone with central bay set
slightly forward between buttresses and terminating in a gable with
traceried main window; Built as a Presbyterian Secession Church,
it became the Kinghan Mission in 1899, recently completely rebuilt
behind retained facade.
9. 7-11 Trustee Savings Bank: 1866 Pair of three-storey stucco houses
linked by modern shopfront;
10. 1-5 Oxford Buildings: 1866-68 Three-storey cream brick building
with polychrome details in red and black brick in the form of arches
over windows, string courses and lozenges of red and black brick;
Dublin Road
36

11. Shaftesbury Square Reformed Presbyterian Church: 1890 Gable


fronted church in red brick with polychrome dressings in sandstone, with
triple lancet window over double doors.
12. 50-54: 1829-32 Four-storey building with red sandstone details and
gables on outer bays; ground floor modernised. Among the occupants in
1910 were Messrs Hodgkinson & Andrews, ‘talking machine dealers’.
13. Salvation Army: 1975 Five-storey block in chamfered panels of
exposed aggregate each with a plain central window, like a miniature
version of Fanum House in Great Victoria Street.
14, 15. Inkermann Terrace: 1854-56 Terrace of three-storey two bay
red brick houses constructed in Flemish bond with end quoins. Now
all shopped at ground floor. The terrace was named after the British
fort of Inkermann, which was besieged in November 1854 during the
Crimea War, and the garrison of 8,000 British soldiers reinforced by
the arrival of 6,000 French troops respelled a besieging army of 40,000
Russians.
16. Willis House: 1988 Two-storey building in light brown brick with
ground floor shop units separated by divided brick pilasters; broken
triangular pediment with yellow concrete feature.
17. Adent House: 1988 Three-storey red brick building in three narrow
bays, with shopfronts, and pilasters rising to support small gable with
concrete feature. Previous building on site dated.

Bedford Street
18. Bankmore House: 1981-91 Six Storey office block in reddish brown
brick with pilaster strips in buff brick, curved corner to Marcus Ward
Street rising to a circular turret with electronic clock in an art deco
style.
19. 35-37: 1867-68 By Lanyon Lynn & Lanyon, as a store for S Boas,
fancy box manufacturer: Three-storey warehouse in cream brick with
red brick and stone polychrome details including banded heads to
upper floor windows; semicircular stone head over main door sculpted
with shield set amidst leaves and roses.
20. 27-33: 1875 Terrace of red brick warehouses with muted
polychrome details. During the 19th Century it was the J F Haig’s
Emerald Shirt Factory.
21. 46-50: 1870 Unusual three-storey red brick warehouse filling a
triangular site with elevations to Clarence Street and Linen Hall Street
West; generally well cared for, with stone keystone blocks, quoins and
cill courses and several good door cases with deep carved keynotes of
corn and clusters of fruit and flowers and leaves. In 1890.
22. 1841. 34-44: 1865 For the Workman Family: Three- Storey
Edward Mitchem

warehouse
renovated after bombing campaign during the troubles., with
channelled stone floor, in which shops have been inserted.
23, 24. 21-25: 1871 Built by John Boyd for William Ferguson, linen
merchant: Curved block of three three-storey red brick warehouses

37
with polychrome deco-ration in stone and yellow brick; with central
gablets, and balconette features with fish-scale roofs at first floor over
door cases; yellow brick chimneys,
25. Ewarts Warehouse: 1869 Designed by James Hamilton of Glasgow,
extended along Franklin Street by James Ewart in 1883; and to the rear
(dem. 1990) by Samuel Stevenson & Sons 1937: Three-storey building
of warm brown sandstone with recessed corner feature rising from a
colonnaded door case at ground to a copper dome on an attic drum
flanked by dormers with corner acroteria; windows mostly paired to
give arcaded effect, with idiosyncratic ornament including anthemion,
fretted flourished and knobbly frills to window heads, reminiscent of
Greek Thompson’s work.
26. Windsor House: 1975 Tall office block of 24 storeys, including two
storey black marble podium and the upper levels clad in white mosaic
panels; with a narrow frontage to Bedford Street, but extending back
considerably. At 270ft, this is the tallest building in Northern Ireland.
27. Causeway House: 1970 Modern block of five storeys of pre-cast
concrete on a two-storey plinth of marble and tinted glass. This was
the site of a four-storey brick warehouse with a deep plinth and tall
chimneys, built about 1865, probably for W Liddell & Co, damask and
linen manufacturers.
28. Bedford House: 1965-66 Ten-storey office block, reclad in 1983
following bombing during the Trouble, flanked by two smaller blocks.
This occupies the site of former linen warehouses built 1860. They
were three-storey, with channelled stone ground floor and brick upper
floors and dominant stucco chimney stacks.
29. Bryson House: 1865-67 Built by W J Barre, as a linen warehouse,
the three-storey hipped roof red brick warehouse with ornamental
sandstone courses, window heads and colonettes; balconettes over
door cases, supported on vestigial columns rising from stone kneelers;
incised decoration to stone spandrels and window arches;
30. Ulster Hall: 1859 Opened in 1862, the hall was designed by William
J. Barre for the Ulster Hall Company. In 1902 the hall was purchased
by Belfast City Council (then named the Belfast Corporation) for
£13,500 and it has been used as a public hall ever since. During
World War II it was used as a dance hall to entertain American troops
stationed in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Hall features one of the
oldest examples of a functioning classic English pipe organ. The
Mulholland Grand Organ is named in honour of for-mer Mayor of
Belfast, Andrew Mulholland, who donated £3000 to the hall toward it’s
cost in the 1860s. It was built by William Hill & Son and donated after
the hall was officially opened.

source: Linen Hall library map repository and Marcus Patton - Central
Belfast: an Historical Gazeteer
38
Clement Bonnerat
New buildings in the corridor

39
1) City Hall

2) Scottish Mutual Building


Program : Hotel
Year of achievement : 2017
Architect (renovation) : Douglas Wallace Architects
Developer : Bedford Hotel Limited

3)Grand Hotel
Program : Hotel
Year of achievement : 2018
Architect : WDR & Taggart
Developer : Hastings Hotels

4) Bedford Square Scheme (phase 2)


Program : Hotel and offices
Year of achievement : 2018
Architect : Todd Architects
Developer : Mc Alleer & Rushe

5) 35 Bedford Street
Program : Beer Garden
Year of achievement : 2017
Architect : KDPA
Developer : JD Wetherspoon PLC

6) 65 - 71 Dublin Road
Program : Housing
Year of achievement : 2017
Architect : AS Whiteman Architects
Developer : Richland Group

7) 78 - 86 Dublin Road
Program : Student Accomodation
Year of achievement : 2017
Architect : Manson Architects
Developer : Watkin Jones / Lacuna

8) 2 - 4 Ireton Street
Program : Housing
Year of achievement : 2016
Architect :
Developer : Hamill Gallagher

9) 87 - 91 Botanic Avenue
Program : Student Accomodation
Year of achievement : 2017
Architect : AS Whiteman Architects
Developer : Richland Group

10) Queen’s University


40
41
42
Antoine Tallero
Belfast Glasgow 0.1 - Urban form and building heights

43
ECONOMY
48
Arthur Crawford
Belfast Demography

49
Each of these maps document the relative ranking of areas within Botanic
and Shaftesbury in regards of Education, Health, Income, Employment,
Living Environment and Crime. The wards divisions and the data that
was input into the graphics are sources from 2013 census data. The maps
show their weighting though shades, the darker the shade showing a
higher, more positive ranking for the area.
The primary trend observed is a negative bias toward the areas in
Shaftesbury Ward. This is true of most the maps, excluding those which
consider Crime and Living Environment.
50
Arthur Crawford
51
52
Arthur Crawford
53
54
Arthur Crawford
55
Income Deprivation Domain
56

DSD (Department of Social


Development) LPS ( Land and
property Services), HMRC
(Her Majesty’s Revenue and
Customs)
Arthur Crawford
Health and Disability

57
DSD (Department of Social
Development) GRO (General
Register Office) DHSPS
(Department of Health, Social
services and Public Safety)
Employment Deprivation
58

DSD (Department of
Social Development) DEL
(Department of Employment
and Learning), HMRC (Her
Majesty’s Revenue and
Customs)
Arthur Crawford
Education Skills and training

59
DE (Department of
Education) DEL ( Department
of Employment and
Learning), HESA (Higher
Education Statistics agency)
‘There is a lack of conversation in
60

the neighbourhood, we need more


interface facilities such as coffee
shops etc... Donegall pass was once
vibrant’
Arthur Crawford

Donegall Pass community group meeting


61
Crime and Disorder
NIFRS (Northern Ireland Fire
and Rescue Service) and PSNI
(Police Service Northerhn
Ireland)
62
Sarah Wright

Number of built environment


policies within Belfast (56)
in comparison to Glasgow (90)
Belfast City Council Policies and plans

63
1) Encourage an increase in the density of urban housing appropriate in scale
and design to the cities and towns of northern Ireland. The aim is to increase the
Residential Population of the city centre however only 316 hectares have been
designated for housing compared to the 941 Hectares designated for businesses.
Only 70 rental residential units are available in Belfast City Centre compared to 926
units in Manchester (2015)

2) Set housing growth indicators to guide the distribution of housing in the


region over the period of 2015. The aim is to strengthen the metropolitan area by
providing housing and employment through mixed use developments however
there are very few mixed developments which include housing planned. (2002)

3) Extend travel choice for all sections of the community by enhancing public
transport. To improve transport links the city council is set to reopen two train
stations in Belfast, however no new routes are planned which are needed to connect
the Western sector of Northern Ireland to Belfast.

4) Develop a regional strategic transport network based on key transport corridors


to enhance accessibility to regional facilities and services. Plans are in place to
improve cycle routes through the city, however cycle routes and plans for new
cycle routes mean cyclists often have to suddenly merge with vehicular traffic. A
Rapid transit bus service is also planned but it only adds to existing North-South
connections and not East-West where most of the community divisions are situated.

5) Promote a balanced spread of economic development opportunities across the


region focused on the clusters as the main centres for employment and services.
Buildings of significant Heritage should encourage residential units on upper floors
and businesses on the ground floors. The vast majority of office tenants are public
sector based. Creative industries being discouraged to move into the centre as rent
is very high. (2015)

6) Create and maintain a regional portfolio of strategic employment locations.


To increase Belfast’s economic portfolio there needs to be a mix of employment
opportunities, meaning entrepreneurs should be being supported, however a rise in
financial investors from abroad has created a lack of small businesses. Belfast ranks
last for entrepreneurship.

7) Promote a drive to provide more housing in existing urban areas.


New Non-Residential Developments should respect local context ie. layout, scale
and appearance. The Bedford street project does not achieve this and is a complete
opposite to it’s historical surroundings. The conversion of vacant lots to liveable
accommodation is a growing issue. A strategy is yet to be determined in order to
deal with this problem.

8) To create healthier living environments and to support healthier lifestyles.


The council aims to improve the quality of homes as 6,990 properties in Belfast are
considered unfit to live in. There is a lack of funds available to improve conditions
and make these homes liveable. This is the main reason there are so many decaying
terrace houses along the corridor.
Factors affecting Regeneration Schemes
Health & Education
64

QUB
Factors affecting RegenerationQueen’s
Schemes& ALMAC
Ranked in the top Revolutionising Cancer
1% of Universities in Research.
Health & Education
the World.

QUB Queen’s & ALMAC


CHIC
Factors affecting
Ranked in the top RegenerationRevolutionising
73,000 Schemes - Connected
Cancer
Health Innovation Centre
1% of Universities in Research.
Students living in Belfast. at University of Ulster
the World.
Health & Education aligns technology and
healthcare.
QUB CHICALMAC
Queen’s & - Connected
73,000
Environment Ranked
& Infrastructure
in the top Revolutionising
Health InnovationCancer
Centre
1% of Universities
Students in
living in Belfast. Research.
at University of Ulster
14 Million
the World. Euros 11,000
aligns technology
newand
wind
used to Research for healthcare.
turbines.
Clean Energy.
Environment & Infrastructure CHIC - Connected
73,000 Health Innovation Centre
14 Million Euros
Students living in Belfast.
11,000
at University of Ulster
aligns technologynew wind
and
5CleanMillion
used to Research for turbines.
healthcare.
Energy.
Pounds spent of 5 Major Development
Environment Infrastructure.
& Infrastructure Areas.

Technology 14 Million Euros 11,000 new wind


5 Million
used to Research for turbines.
Development of new
Clean
PoundsEnergy.
spent of 40
5 GB/s
Major Development
C-series
Infrastructure. Planes. of Transatlantic and Ter-
Areas.
restrial Communication.
Technology
5
8 Million
Millionof new 540 GB/s
Development
Pounds spent of
C-series Planes.
Euros brought in by ad-
Infrastructure.
vanced Manufacturing.
Major Development
of Transatlantic and Ter-
Areas.
restrial Communication.

Technology
8 Million
Development of new
40 GB/s
Euros brought in by ad-
C-series Planes.
vanced Manufacturing. of Transatlantic and Ter-
restrial Communication.

8 Million
Sarah Wright

Euros brought in by ad-


vanced Manufacturing.
Factors affecting Regeneration Schemes
Tourism & Lifestyle

65
600 Million Some of the best Golf
Factors affecting Regeneration
Euros made from tourism
each year.
Schemes
courses in the world.

Tourism & Lifestyle


600 MillionRegenerationSomeSchemes
Factors affecting of the best Golf
Eclectic
Euros made from tourism Excellent Culinary
courses in the world.
Music
each scene.
year. reputation.
Tourism & Lifestyle
Transportation600 Million Golf
Some of the best
Eclectic
Euros made from tourism
New
each year.
Victoria Street Two Culinary
courses in the world.
Excellent
Major City
Music scene. reputation.
Rapid transit Bus Service. Airports.

Transportation
Eclectic Excellent Culinary
New
Music scene.
Expansion of Belfast
Victoria Street Two
reputation.
Major City
Rapid transit Bus Service. 2nd
Airports.largest Port in
Bike Scheme. Ireland.
Transportation
New Victoria Street
Finance & Business
Expansion of Belfast
Two Major City
9,000
Rapid transit Bus Service.
2nd
Airports.
largest Port in
Bike businesses
Scheme. Ireland.
Operate locally.

Finance & Business


Expansion of Belfast

9,000 2nd largest Port in


Bike Scheme.
businesses Ireland.
1Operate
Bilion pounds of
locally.
Foreign Investment.
Finance & Business
9,000 businesses
1Operate
Bilion locally.
pounds of
Foreign Investment.

1 Bilion pounds of
Foreign Investment.
66
Josephine Neill
Tourism

67
Belfast City Council is currently highly focused on tourism, but there
is a need to consider the difference between presents tourists and those
of the past past. Statistics show that the main source of information
as to what to visit in Belfast prior to a trip is via the internet, with
social media being key to this research. It seems plausible to assume
that this statistic has some connection with the age group of tourists
that are flocking to the city being between 24 and 34 years of age. A
severe lack of hotel rooms in the city, as experienced within the last
five to ten years, has led to an explosion of hotel developments that
seem to target old, disused buildings in order to ‘restore and celebrate’
the architecture that gives Belfast it’s charm but these are in danger
of doing the exact opposite. More often than not the disused heritage
buildings of Belfast are being renovated with proposals that utilise
only the facade of the property, ignoring the history contained within
the interiors of the sites, thus showing the lack of commitment from
the council to restore and commemorate the memories made within
these spaces.

Not only are these hotel developers in danger of ripping away the
history of the site and creating soulless spaces but they should be
aware of the rise in popularity of the ‘airbnb’ traveller who does not
conform to that of a hotel staying guest. With a rise in young tourists
coming to the city, there has been a huge rise in the demand on cheap
accommodation. 26% of all AirBnB’s in Belfast are located within
0.5km of the Botanic to Bedford corridor. The proximity to the city,
whilst being away from the expensive hotel prices is appealing to the
younger generation who have been forced into being austere due to
the current economic climate.

Tourism in Belfast is a positive thing. The council’s push to drive


this can not be faulted in terms of understanding what they want to
achieve for the city. It is what of the city is celebrated in comparison to
what is forgotten that is concerning. When analysing the social media
posts relating to the city it is clear to see that the popular elements
of the city come from the ‘real’ culture of the area, the local pubs,
the heritage buildings and the ‘grittiness’ that makes Belfast what
it is, but this is exactly what seems to be being taken away by the new
developments that are being approved. In Paris people flock to ‘lock their
love’ on a bridge over the River Seine. The act is not stopped because they
understand that this act, a free activity within the city, brings people into
the local independent cafes, bars and other attractions. Not only this, but
it showcases the history of the city and its people, whether residents or
locals. Belfast needs to embrace the culture that populates all corners of
the city rather than becoming a clone of other cities.
68
Josephine Neill
69
72
Edward McKeown

Property use at ground floor level


73

Property use at first floor level


74
Edward McKeown

Multi-level disused and residential survey


75

Night time usage


‘... interactional justice can be
76

found in the diversity of residents,


pedestrian and workers who
inhabit New York City streets and
their tolerance of the wide range
of often conflicting activities that
take place at one time in the same
space.’
Edward McKeown

Setha Low & Kurt Iveson - Propositions for more just urban public space
Building uses

77
The diversity of the amenities offered within the mile long expanse of the
corridor’s streets is wide, with different programmes in densely packed
terrace ground floors, large purpose built office spaces and renovated
Victorian warehouses. From opticians to pharmacies, traditional pubs
to young nightclub venues and fine dining to fast food, the Botanic to
Bedford stretch of the city offers a diverse set of amenities and facilities
for the diverse set of people that populate South Belfast but although this
is ideal for a community, there are a number of issues that surround the
independent traders of the area.

It became clear that although there is a diverse group of facilities within


the Bedford/Botanic stretch the ‘corridor’ is heavily populated by food and
drink venues. A severe lack of grocery stores away from the over-priced
chain stores means people to buy food produce elsewhere at the standard
price seen within NI supermarkets. There are no Butchers, Fishmongers
or Greengrocers on any of the three connecting roads. The number of
fast food takeaway stores overtake any other business category within
the area, showcasing the demand for unhealthy food and suggesting one
possible reason for the poor health levels within the Shaftesbury ward.

There are nine charity stores along Botanic Avenue and Dublin Road
alone, this is an extraordinary amount for such a small area - the highest
density of these across the whole of Belfast. Some are specialist stores
for furniture or books only, while others sell anything and everything
in a bid to compete with the high competition rates. The non specialist
charity stores are frequented mainly by locals from the area capitalising
on the cheap prices that are offered. The customer base within these is
interesting. It may be safe to assume that the low earning members of
the community have taken to the clever and austere approach of recycle,
reuse and renovate so the demand for charity stores is high.

The varied and independent nature of many of the stores, entertainment


and cultural venues means the area offers a number of exciting
opportunities for the area but they have become dwarfed by extensive
office high rise developments and heavy traffic control signage. This is
a problem from the end of Botanic Avenue heading north. Shaftesbury
Square, for example, is a physical manifestation of the problems that
are caused by prioritising traffic over pedestrians. With closed down
restaurants, abandoned offices and an air of grime to the ‘square’ as it is
named, the area is an abandoned thoroughfare for vehicular traffic and
cuts off the vibrant and bustling Botanic Avenue leaving the beginning
of Dublin Road feeling sparse and derelict. The result of this separation
means those within the Queen’s quarter of the city tend not to venture
past Shaftesbury Square often, and vice versa, those coming from the city
tend to stay within the ‘up and coming’ area of Dublin Road.
GROCERY STORE FOOD & DRINK VENUES ENTERTAINMENT
TESCO EXPRESS FILTHY MCNASTIES BAR A.MCLEAN
78

& NIGHTCLUB BETTING SHOP


Tesco express is one of two chain
grocery stores along the Botanic - Food, drinks and entertain- There are a large
Bedford corridor, the third grocery ment venues make up number of betting
unit being an independent store 51% of the Botanic Avenue shops along the
In comparison to other areas within / Dublin Road / Bedford ‘corridor’ with the
Belfast and other cities this is a very Street retail units. main density of
low number of convenience stores them being seen on
for this length of street. Only 3 food & drink venues Shaftesbury Square.
are found on Bedford
Street, the remaining are Betting shops have
further South from the city bad connotations to
centre. many, often being
compared in the
The 2 restaurants found same light as strip
on Bedford Street are clubs. Northern
significantly more expensive Ireland has banned
to dine in than anything on casinos completely
Botanic Avenue or Dublin so betting shops are
Road. the only physical
outlet for this form of
entertainment.
Josephine Neill
CHARITY SHOPS TRAVEL BOOKING AGENTS HAIR & BEAUTY
MARIE CURIE BOTANIC TRAIN STA TRAVEL AGENTS HEDONIST HAIR

79
CANCER SUPPORT STATION DRESSING &
Currently there are 3 booking BEAUTY
There are 10 charity Botanic train station agents along within the Bo-
stores along the is located towards tanic > Bedford corridor, these There are five
Botanic the middle of the consist of one travel agent, one hair/beauty/body
Avenue / Dublin Road Botanic Avenue estate agent and one money modification
stretch. - Bedford Street transfer store. salons within the
corridor. corridor.
The average rent for a As tourism continues to be
retail unit along these It is the most pushed in the city, and more The pricing for these
roads is significantly connected train visitors stay within the Botanic is in the midrange
lower than the same station in the whole area it would not be surprising for the services they
size unit within the of Belfast, with to see more travel agents open- are offering, with a
city centre. trains stopping at ing to encourage day tripping. woman’s haircut and
least every half an blow-dry costing on
Charity shops receive hour. There is a lack of estate agents average £35.50.
rates reductions that on this corridor of the city, there
make having this kind is however a massive amount As we come to the
of organisation within of shared housing on online north of the corridor
a property beneficial to platforms such as Gumtree & there are less and less
landlords Spareroom retail units and no hair
& beauty facilities on
Bedford Street which is
surprising considering
the high density of
offices within the area.
80

Belfast City Centre


Linen Quarter and South Belfast Development Areas
1. Aim: Develop a strategic Transportation network based on key
transport corridors.
Reality: Only North to South corridors are developed, East- West link is
ignored.
2. Aim: Enhance pedestrian zones to make them people friendly.
Reality: Small sections of street surrounding the City Centre not whole
corridors.
3. Aim: Create a thriving metropolitan within the city centre.
Reality: Thriving population needs a residential population, square
footage is given to retail instead of residential.
4. Aim: Create a residential population within the city Centre.
Reality: Residential developments are pushed out of the city centre and
Sarah Wright

are often for students only.


5. Aim: Promote a balanced spread of economic job opportunities.
Reality: Large amount of jobs within the finance and business sectors but
few jobs for graduates in creative and other industries.
Belfast Glasgow 0.2- Development Plans

81
Glasgow City Centre
Central, St.Enoch and Merchant City Development Areas
1. Aim: Economic Development through the creation of more business
opportunities.
Reality: Plenty of businesses within the city centre, more could be added
to make the residential section of the corridor more vibrant.
2. Aim: Encouraging the development of the first floor of the city centre
buildings into residential and office spaces.
Reality: These spaces are still largely abandoned.
3. Aim: Reinforcing the city as a vibrant place of retail, leisure and tourism.
Reality: A place of retail and culture is continually being developed.
4. Aim: Meeting Housing needs and increasing the population in the city
centre.
Reality: Plenty of housing out of the main retail and business centre but
there is ample disused space that could be used for city centre residential
development.
5. Aim: Improved connections between districts, in an attempt to connect
communities.
Reality: A large residential section is cut off from the vibrant city centre. A
lot of internalised cul-de-sacs.
82

Belfast City Centre


Linen Quarter and South Belfast Development Areas
There are Five Main Regeneration Areas in Belfast; Inner North, Inner
West, North East Quarter,Transport Hub & South Centre and Oxford
Street & East Bank. In these areas strategies have been developed to
improve sectors of the Economy and promote Belfast as a city of culture,
Tourism and Business. The main Development Area that relates to our
Site are the Linen Quarter and South Centre. These schemes include
plans for shared streets, transportation routes and individual building
developments. The main issue with selecting development areas is that
the individual areas don’t always exist well with the others. This leaves
the design of the city disjointed. Belfast has a distinct lack of policies to
Sarah Wright

deal with development schemes and their role as part of the larger City
fabric. By looking at the Policies in relation to the larger City we can
determine what projects are harming the city and which projects are
succeeding.
83
Glasgow City Centre
Central, St.Enoch and Merchant City Development Areas
There are Nine Main Regeneration Areas in Glasgow are Central, St.
Enoch, Merchant City, Learning Quarter, Townshead, Cowcaddens,
Broomielaw, Blythswood and sauchiehill. In these area Strategies have
been developed to improve sectors of the economy and to promote
Glasgow as a city of Culture, Tourism and Business. Our site is in the
overlap of a few development areas. The Central, St.Enoch and Merchant
City area have a mix of business, residential and retail. Like Belfast,
Glasgow has development schemes within the nine areas. The difference
is a lot of the schemes merge along their area borders. Glasgow is also
more organised with it’s planning policies, having more policy categories
and more over-lapping policies. This system ensures that policy sectors
interact with one another, creating a more seamlessly designed City.
‘The economy is not an entity, an
86

end in itself, it exists to give us all


better lives and if it is not doing that
it is not working.’
Brian Maguire

New Economics Foundation Podcast ‘Really Take Control’


87

Living / Dining
Bedroom
Bathroom
Hallway
Circulation
88
Edward Mitchem
89

Pavement usage analysis


90
91
Dissecting streetscape along the corridor led to the studies of Robert
92

Venturi and his writings and theories of advertising in Las Vegas.


Learning from Las Vegas (1972) is a controversial battle cry for complexity
and contradiction, stemming from a detailed analysis of the Las Vegas
Strip- which he proposed as an archetype to influence architecture
worldwide. He advocates through this analysis notions of pluralism,
multiculturalism, symbolism, iconography, popular culture, electronic
communication in an urban landscape: ‘Architecture’, he says ‘…as signs
and systems’, and, as said by co-author Denise Scott Brown, the book is a
‘treatise on symbolism in architecture’.

Learning from Las Vegas, Robert Venturi

Excessive signage within Botanic Avenue


Edward Mitchem
Las Vegas is analysed as a phenomenon of architectural communication;

93
the ‘Strip’ being architecture of communication over space- achieved
through style and signs. This is a unique condition in comparison to
‘enclosed space’, which architects are more familiar with. The study
is a ‘victory of symbolism-space over forms-in-space’, arguing that
spatial relationships are created through symbols rather than forms: The
iconography of urban sprawl.
94
Edward Mitchem
95
96

1. 28 - 32 Botanic Avenue
2. 47 - 50 Botanic Avenue
Edward Mitchem
Street Clutter

97
The way we treat our streets is essential to the
well-being of a city’s occupants: a sensitive
treatment of architecture, not just in a heritage
and conservation sense, will allow for a more
persistent treatment of the immediate streets.
The pluralism and treatment of the street makes
it hard to navigate and unattractive, unlike the
simplicity of its counterpart, where this is not
forced and does not inject unrelenting pluralism.

An exploration of the diverse range of mixed-


use buildings along the corridor reveals, ways
in which we treat and affect our buildings,
drawing a juxtaposition between the treatment
of more ‘historic’ or conservative buildings are
treated alongside contemporary designs. This
affecting is directly inherent in the treatment of
the street that the building occupies revealed
through a focus on two streets, both on Botanic
and separated only by a short stretch of shop-
fronts.

The first of these two streets, a run of terraces


from the late 19th Century, host striking fea-
tures and are definitively ornamental, while the
latter is a run of inconsistent, modern buildings,
built over a series of decades. The immediate
1
street-scape of the first, is functional; with a
natural cohesion between the streets access and
main walking route, and the use of social space
and amenities is practical and accessible- with
minimal advertising, kept close to or on the
buildings themselves, meaning to access this
information requires moving to one side of the
street.

2
98
Edward Mitchem
The second has become cluttered and filled

99
with large advertising boards, that force the
user to navigate in an arguably unnatural
way. The street is busy and is crowded and
un-inviting. The architecture is tall, imposing
and uninspiring. The last building on the
street is covered by a large advertising board
for the chip shop that occupies the building.
MOBILITY
102
103
“The magic of the street is
104

the mingling of the errand


and the epiphany.”
Edward McKeown

Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking


Roads

105
Looking at Belfast’s roads, you will see an obsession with cars that
dates back to the sixties. The urban motorway was planned to encircle
the city, passing just south of Shaftesbury Square. Thankfully, in the
case of our corridor, the motorway did not go ahead here. However,
the walkability of our corridor is greatly affected by fast-moving vehi-
cle dominated roads. Junctions are filled with infrastructure that works
to aid cars in driving fast. It can be an intimidating experience. The
pedestrian and cyclist do not feel valued here. Worryingly, this does
not seem to have been identified by the local authority, who continue
to propose new roads to increase capacity. There has been no attempt
at rethinking this system, as has been done in other European cities.

The council must be an advocate for the community here. Doing so


will work to stamp out bad design in our cities. We must strive to
create places with identity and variety. With sustainability becoming
a crucial responsibility for everyone, we need to be more selective of
permitted developments. We must be ambitious and innovative in our
approach to the built environment. We need to question what kind of
streets we want to live on. We need to do so with a conscience. Build-
ings that survive from the past are telling us something; quality is
something that lasts.
Y AND SHARED SPACES
106

MOBILITY AND SHARED SPACES


Arthur Crawford
107

Walkability within the corridor & junction interferences


108

Low parking costs within the city mean more cars fill our public spaces
and pollute our air
109
110
Edward McKeown
111

Strategy: The Belfast Urban Motorway was planned to encircle the


city to prepare for the future expansion of car ownership.

Lichfield, N., Lovejoy, D. and Madge, J. (1969) Belfast Urban Area


Plan, London: Building Design Partnership
112
Edward McKeown
113
114

Urban junction user priority comparisons

No active facades
Interaction with local businesses

Average pace of cars : 12mph

Widening view for

Intentional obstacles No pedestrian dec

Narrowed vision of road High density of roa

Pedestrian priority Poor interaction w


Josephine Neill

New Road Brighton, England

Gehl / Landscape Porjects / Ben Hamilton Baillie / Brighton & Hove City Council
New Road Brighton, England.
Gehl / Landscape Projects /
Ben Hamilton Baillie / Brighton & Hove City Council
Urban Junction User Priority - City Comparison

115
No active facades from local businesses

Widening view for traffic encouraging acceleration

No pedestrian decision making crossings

High density of road markings adding to confusion

Poor interaction with local businesses

hton, England Shaftesbury square Belfast, Northen Ireland

e City Council Belfast City Council / GM Design Associates


Shaftesbury Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Belfast City Council / GM Design Associates
REGENERATION STRATEGY
Improve and spread the pedestrian and cycle network throughout the city centre and also the
116 shared spaces between the different ways of transportation.

REGENERATION STRATEGY
Improve the links between city centre and the surroundings quarters. Improve the inner ring
circulation to keep the centre clear from cars. The new transportation HUB as a centre for the
circulation connexions with the surroundings.
Antoine Trallero
Forms of mobility

117
The study made on mobility in Belfast shows that the corridor is well
catered for with two train stations North and South and a sufficient
number of Belfast bike docks. Moreover the city plans to establish a new
bus line crossing the corridor. However, the desire of creating shared
streets between cars, public transports and pedestrians is only focused on
the city centre and is not applied to the entire corridor creating disparities.
The map also shows new links that can be strengthened to support
mobility.
‘Research suggests that
118

public spaces will not be


perceived as just if people
are systematically locked-
out of decision making
processes that shape their
use’
Antoine Trallero

Setha Low & Kurt Iveson, Propositions for more just urban public spaces
Evolution of Shaftesbury Square

119
1 ) The original motorway project for Shaftesbury Square interchange in SHAFTESBURY SQUARE E
the 60’s with the creation of a large multi-stories parking and offices just Original motorway project for
next to the motorway. interchange in the 70s with the
2) Shaftesbury Square is a very complex circulation node where the car ismotorway.
multi-stories parking and offices

dominating.
3) The regeneration project aims to create a large public square to reduce
the impact of the car and improve the pedestrian public space. Also the
project of rapid bus lines is part of Shaftesbury Square. New cycle lanes
will be created on Dublin Road and Botanic Avenue.

SHAFTESBURY SQUARE EVOLUTION EXISTING SITUATION


1 2
Original motorway project for shaftesbury square Shaftesbury square is very com
interchange in the 70s with the creation of a large node where the car is dominat
multi-stories parking and offices just next to the
motorway.

TOM
EXISTING SITUATION TOMORROW

The regeneration project aims to


Shaftesbury square is very complex circulation
node where the car is dominating. The r
public square to reduce the imp
improve the pedestrian public s
ject of rapid bus lines is part of

3 publ
New cycle lines will be created
road and Botanic avenue.

impr
ject o
TOMORROW

The regeneration project aims to create a large


public square to reduce the impact of the car and
New
improve the pedestrian public space. Also the pro-
ject of rapid bus lines is part of Shaftesbury square.
New cycle lines will be created on both Dublin
road and Botanic avenue.
road
CHARACTER
122
123
‘A mixture of uses, if it is to
124

be sufficiently complex to
sustain city safety, public
contact and cross-use, needs
an enormous diversity of
ingredients.’
Josephine Neill

Jane Jacobs, 1961. The death and life of great American cities
125
126

1 5 COLLEGE PARK EAST


Josephine Neill
127

EWART BUILDING 25+ YEARS DISUSED


This image illustrates a derelict site directly opposite Botanic Train
station. The site has been neglected, gaining the unpleasant appearance
of a wasteland within the city. The abandoned street is connected to both
Botanic Avenue and University Road, however it is barracked off by
brick walls at either side as a failed attempt to disguise its wasteland like
character from pedestrians. This site has the potential to create a valuable
Marty Carlin

and progressive connection between the two streets and offer spaces that
could prove to be beneficial to all, however it has been blocked up cutting
off any opportunity for connection between the two streets.
Belfast Glasgow 0.3 - alleyways

This alleyway is accessed from the footpath, once entering the alley the
pedestrian crosses a threshold that disconnects them from the street, and
provides them with the option to either return to the street or journey
through. The alleyway serves a purpose of providing a connection,
becoming a passageway between two streets, creating a short cut for
pedestrians while also offering shelter from the elements.
130
Edward McKeown
Conscience

131
Conscience is a reaction to the changing nature of development in our
cities. In times past, Belfast was a place with many buildings of great
architectural significance. Commerce and industry fuelled a great
expansion that manifested itself in a tight and well proportioned urban
fabric. Buildings were designed with a distinct grain. Their decorative
forms gave them a noticeable quality and individuality. They brought
something more than themselves to the streetscape. Today, we can easily
compare developments over the last fifty years along the corridor with
older ones. Private buildings are rarely constructed in a selfless manner.
They are designed very quickly and made of cheap materials to maximise
profits for a developer. Our economy has changed in this sense to produce
buildings which have no requirement of quality.

From studying architectural history, it seems this was not the intended
result of modernism. Founders of the modernist style made themselves
free from decoration and turned to celebrate attention to detail and
proportion to achieve minimalism in their designs. Their goal was to
bring a new character to design that was about something more than
decoration. The need for quality was made greater; a fundamental part of
modernism that is widely ignored by many architects today. Money, and
not ambition, is what determines the standard of a project now. It appears
as if the economic model of the last fifty years has begun to restrict our
streets.

Frequently, we see architects submit visual interpretations of a design


to the planning authority that work to conceal or disguise a proposed
buildings into something that will make a positive contribution to a street.
In one case, we have seen on our corridor one building in particular
that was approved by the city council which only looks loosely like its
visualisation. In the interpretation, trees were used to conceal its overall
height in relation to the rest of the street, the windows are not as well
detailed in reality and it has a cumbersome appearance in person which
is not apparent from the visualisation. A street is now left with a building
which is having a huge aesthetic impact. This is not the first time for
the corridor either, in many cases, but not all, we have seen evidence of
beautiful buildings bombed, burned or torn down, only to be replaced by
buildings of a lesser quality.
132
Arthur Crawford
No Alibis

133
This building was chosen as a study, not only for its attractive shop
frontage, it’s longevity in a largely transient area of business, but also the
functions that it hosts. No Alibis is Belfast’s only crime fiction specialist
book store, which services a small dedicated audience who regularly
attend reading groups, book signings and gigs. Beyond its local market,
No Alibis has an international presence as it also sells special editions and
locally signed copies throughout the world.
No Alibis is a somewhat unassuming, yet supports an entire microcosm of
culture.
134
Arthur Crawford
Artistic A4/The Gallery Apartments

135
This graphic was created in the combined style of Escher and Tado Ando.
Through distortion and emphasising shade, the graphic portrays the
inconsiderate development of the Gallery Apartments on the indigenous
fabric and the businesses that reside within. This style of development is
endemic in the area.
136
Edward McKeown
Selfless and Superficial:

137
Artwork along the corridor is a rare find. This powerful sculpture,
“Flying Figures” by Elisabeth Frink, is made from cast aluminium and
sits prominently in Shaftesbury Square. It is possibly the only part of the
square which is giving something more than itself. Conversely, across the
Square, sit many advertising billboards which make up one of the more
prominent corners of Shaftesbury. They scream products and services at
people, making for a more superficial urban experience.
138
Arthur Crawford
Dublin Road / Harington Court interface study

139
This was chosen as a study due to the peculiar relation set up between
Dublin Road and the nearby housing estate of Shaftesbury Court. The
interface between the estate and the Dublin Road is managed by a brick
wall with a fence mounted on top. The opening in the boundary is
covered by a rather ceremonial arch, set at a skewed angle to the road and
the ground surface changes on entering the estate.
I felt that this represented a very conscious choice to disconnect the
population of the estate with their immediate context. This reinforces
perceived rights to an area, both for the residents estate and those who
might wish pass through the estate from the Dublin Road.
140
141
142
Eunan Deeney
Thresholds

143
Initial investigations took place analysing the corridor’s thresholds at a
macro level and investigating street sections along the corridor from what
can be described as a parkland edge (Botanic Gardens) through to an
inner city urban edge (Belfast City Hall). Influenced by the Allan B. Jacobs
and Kevin Lynch the investigation led to an exploration of the relationship
between the motor vehicle, pedestrian sidewalk and building edge.

The street section diagrams reinforced initial assumptions that building


typology, scale and accessibility would highly differ from one district
of the corridor to the other. These are areas characterised by common
characteristics. A common grain or texture is apparent along Botanic
Avenue with the majority of buildings offering an active frontage
and engagement with the street. In comparison to the more eclectic
building typologies, textures along Bedford Street that offer a myriad
of ground floor usage often detached from the street edge co-existing
inharmoniously.

Traffic and pedestrian behaviour also differed substantially along the


corridor with various nodes attracting particular attention: University
Street, Shaftesbury Square and Bankmore Square. These can be seen as
intensive foci where characteristics often change.

Thresholds at a micro level. This investigation is zoomed in analysis of the


street sections to illustrate the spatial relationships and usability between
road, sidewalk and building edge. Using the conceptual approach of the
section, the illustrations reveal the strength of an active ground floor usage
to depict life and character of a street. The sections were taken through
a popular cafe, a barber’s shop and a performance hall. Each illustrates
a physical interaction to the sidewalk facilitating activity and a vibrancy
that interestingly changes throughout the day. These blurred boundaries
created between forms are spaces for exchange, impromptu meetings and
engagement. These spaces may or may-not offer shelter but encompass a
sense of enclosure that generates a different atmosphere from the road or
the pavement. These are the intangible spaces, volumes, territories where
one space ends and another begins but offers a rich, vibrant facility to
perform our everyday rituals on our streets.
144
Eunan Deeney
145
146
Eunan Deeney
147
148
Eunan Deeney
149
150
Eunan Deeney
151
152
Eunen Deeney
153
154
Eunan Deeney
155
156
Eunan Deeney
157
158
Eunan Deeney & Marty Carlin
159
160
Marty Carlin
The old Harlequin Fancy Dress Shop, 27 Botanic Avenue.

161
This shop front has been selected as a weakness within the corridor due
to the type of dereliction it represents. The building remains derelict a
majority of the year and every so often is leased for a month or two to
pop up businesses during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. Cities
within the UK tend to be burdened with shop fronts of this nature, the
‘Halloween Shop’.

Lengthening the lease agreement could potentially prevent this problem


from occurring, discouraging pop up businesses, and possibly secure
a more permanent business. There is also the opportunity to convert
these disused buildings into charity shops providing the building with
a purpose all year round with no rates required, and would improve the
overall appearance of the building in doing so.

The image illustrates the building as run down, neglected, and an


eyesore within the street. The building provides the passer-by with an
uncomfortable experience accompanied by an unexpected surprise of
pigeons nesting within the signage right above their heads.
162

Ulster Hall Front Elevation


Ulster Hall Se
Strength
Marty Carlin

Ulster Hall Bedford Street


every so often is I chose the Ulster Hall elevation as a strength within the corridor. Walking past this building provides a pleasant experience when compared to the derelict Halloween shop. Not only is it
e 'Halloween pleasing to the eye, but also serves a purpose to the public with its canopy stepping out over the footpath. The canopy acts as small threshold within the street. temporarily disconnecting
nt business. you from the street. offering shelter from the rain and the opportunity to go inside. This elevation invites pedestrians into the building, offers them a place to stand, stop and have a
improve the conversation, whereas the Halloween shop is passive and with its neglected appearance and only inhabitants being pigeons, people tend not to stay there very long. Through observa­
asserby with an tion we discovered that pedestrians tended mainly to walk on the Ulster Hall side of Bedford Street, we realised this was due to building facades being more inviting and providing sheller
through the use of canopies projecting over the footpaths, whereas on the other side of the street buildings where more passive with flat facades making no connection with pedestrians.
Ulster Hall Bedford Street

163
I chose the Ulster Hall elevation as a strength within the corridor. Walking
past this building provides a pleasant experience when compared to
the derelict Halloween shop. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but also
serves a purpose to the public with its canopy stepping out over the
footpath. The canopy acts as small threshold within the street, temporarily
disconnecting you from the street and offering shelter from the rain and
the opportunity to go inside. This elevation invites pedestrians into the
building, offers them a place to stand, stop and have a conversation,
whereas the Halloween shop is passive and with its neglected appearance
and only inhabitants being pigeons, people tend not to stay there very
long. Through observa­tion we discovered that pedestrians tended mainly
to walk on the Ulster Hall side of Bedford Street, we realised this was due
to building facade being more inviting and providing shelter through the
use of canopies projecting over the footpaths, whereas on the other side
of the street buildings where more passive with flat facades making no
connection with pedestrians.
Eunen Deeney
166
Lauren Willey
167

Exploring Filthy McNasty’s elevation


168

Glasgow Green is a park in the east end of Glasgow city. Clyde river
runs along the west end of the park which is surrounded by various
neighbourhood with apartments, terraced houses and semi detached
housing. Even though its well surrounded by housing units the park
Muthu Palaniappan

is not utilised by the public to it’s full potential. With the large square
footage of the park, even when in use, it feels desolate and quiet giving it
a sense of unease to the public. It lacks participation events from the local
community due to this issue. Throughout the day the majority of inner
park is deserted with only the periphery being used by the surrounding
neighbours.
Belfast Glasgow 0.3 - alleyways

169

Botanic park was built in 1828 within the southern part of the Belfast city.
It is surrounded with a dense neighbourhood of Victorian Belfast terraced
houses, the Queens university Lanyon building on the north and on south
east it has Lagan river. Botanic park is popular with residents, students
and workers from the immediately surrounding areas such as Stranmillis
and the notorious Holylands student area. Botanic is more than just a
park, bringing lower Ormeau Road and Malone Road closer. It is a highly
used thoroughfare for people to reach Botanic Avenue as well as adding
an interesting and well kept green space for all.
‘‘A resilient city is one that
170

allows change without


losing its essence.’

Ombretta Romice and Sergio Porta, Plot-based urbanism: towards time-


consciousness in place-making.
171
Brief bibliography

Aravena, Alejandro From Utopia to Youtopia, Living in the endless City, 2010
Cunningham, David, Jon Goodbun, Propaganda architecture: interview with Rem
Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf. Radical Philosophy,154, pp.35-47, March/April 2009
Gehl, Jan (1986) “Soft edges” in residential streets, Scandinavian Housing and
Planning Research, 3:2, 89-102
Harvey, David, Neoliberalism and creative destruction
Gehl, Jan. 2010. Cities for People. Washington DC: Island Press.
J.W.R. Whitehand, Kai Gu, Conserving Urban Landscape Heritage: a Geographical
Approach, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 5, 2010, Pages
48-53
Jacobs, Allan, Boulevards: A Study of Safety, Behavior, and Usefulness, Working
Paper November 1994, UCTC No. 248, The University of California Transportation
Center. University of California at Berkeley
Jacobs, Jane, The Economy of Cities, Middlesex, Penguin 1969
Jacobs, Jane, Strategies for helping cities, The American Economic Review, Vol.
59, No. 4, Part 1 (Sep., 1969), pp. 652-656, Published by: American Economic
Association
Kennedy C., S. Pincetl, P. Bunje, The study of urban metabolism and its applications
to urban planning and design, Environmental Pollution, Volume 159, Issues 8–9,
August–September 2011, Pages 1965-1973.
Larkham, Peter J. The study of urban form in Great Britain, Urban Morphology
(2006) 10(2), 117-41 , International Seminar on Urban Form, 2006
Moughtin, Cliff and Miguel Mertens. 1992. Urban Design, Street and Square.
Oxford: Elsevier.
Porta, Sergio and Romice, Ombretta. 2010. ‘Plot Based Urbanism: Towards
Time-Consciousness in Place-Making.’ Working paper. University of Strathclyde,
Glasgow.
Sorkin, Michael, Eleven tasks for urban design, Perspecta, Vol. 29 (1998), pp. 22-27,
The MIT Press on behalf of Perspecta.
Urry, John, Consuming Places, Routledge, 1995
Vernez Moudon, Anne. 1987. Public Streets for Public Use. New York: Columbia
University Press.
Vidler, Anthony, Agoraphobia, New German Critique, No. 54, Special Issue on
Siegfried Kracauer (Autumn, 1991),pp. 31-45, Duke University Press
Zukin, Sharon, Reconstructing the authenticity of place, Theory and Society, Vol.
40, No. 2 (March 2011), pp. 161-165, Springer
Zukin, Sharon. 2010. Naked City. The death and life of authentic urban places. New
York: Oxford University Press

Planning documents

Belfast City Council. 2015. Belfast City Centre Regeneration and Investment
Strategy, BCC
Buchanan and Partners. 2004. Belfast City Master Plan, BCC
Building Design Partnership. 1969. Report on Belfast Corporation on planning
policy in the city centre. By Building Design Partnership in association with
Nathaniel Lichfield and Associates, Derek Lovejoy and Associates and John Madge.
Belfast.
Ewart Properties. 2008. Royal Exchange Plan
Ulster University urban plan.
Belfast Northside Regeneration Project. 2014
Belfast Comment and Critique

Boal Fredrick w. and Stephen Royle (eds) (2006) Enduring City, Belfast in the
Twentieth Century, Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Ellis, Geraint, Brendan Murtagh and Andrew Grounds. 2015. ‘City of Dreams?
Belfast, planning and the ‘myth’ of development’ Paper presented at 47th
Conference of Irish Geographers. Belfast, United Kingdom.
Forum for Alternative Belfast. 2009. Missing City Map. Belfast: Forum for
Alternative Belfast.
Overy, Bob. 1971. Redevelopment in Belfast, Fortnight, No. 19 (Jun. 11, 1971), p
6-8, Fortnight Publications Ltd.
Sterrett, Ken, Mark Hackett, Declan Hill. 2012. ‘The social consequences of broken
urban structures: a case study of Belfast’, Journal of Transport Geography 21 (2012)
49–61

Mapping sources

https://mapshop.nidirect.gov.uk/
http://code.waag.org/buildings/
http://maps.cdrc.ac.uk/
http://luminocity3d.org/
http://Zmapping.co.uk
http://airomaps.nuim.ie/id/DepIndex/

Projects and Authors

Project for Public Spaces


The Academy of Urbanism
Human Cities
Urbanistas
MONU Mag
Monocle
StreetSpace
Assemble
FCBS Creative Re-use
Architecture 00
Ron Finley
Rory Hide
Ben Hamilton-Bailie
Sharon Zukin
Jane Jacobs
Donald Appleyard
Anne Vernez Moudon
William H Whyte
Robert Caro

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