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Rebuilding The Village - In Belfast

Part 2 Project 2002
Mark Cassidy
Queen's University Belfast, UK
" Key to the city of the future is that it is a place where people live and work near where they live – a city where nobody lives is dead therefore it is vital to create spaces and places where people will want to live, work and interact."

To achieve a successful 21st century city, it is fundamental to provide diversity – of form, activity and humanity, forming a liveable city of the future.

Modern day Belfast offers the challenge of re-creating the dense mixed-use city of the past. It suggests the repair and re-uses of old buildings and the insertion of new fabric into the gaps left by neglect or deliberate destruction.
To be successful, urban architecture in Belfast must strive to show how modern design can be both innovative and contextual. It must develop forms that serve the needs of both residents and wider society by rediscovering the benefits of the city and create attractive, sustainable urban neighbourhoods where people will want to live.

It is the aim of this design thesis, to develop a sustainable urban regeneration within the context of Belfast. The design project will examine the integration of a sustainable mixed-use development within a larger master plan of a declining area close to Belfast’s city centre. Development proposals will attempt to provide a place to live and work that creates a sense of community through the collective aspiration of its inhabitants to pursue a sustainable lifestyle. The project will attempt to describe how people will live within the urban context of an envisaged ‘New Village Area’.

Mark Cassidy

Mark’s urban design proposal for the former working class ‘Village’ area of Belfast is a remarkable weave of green space and urban grit.. Set within a context of brick terraced row housing, the project examines the changing face of social and economic integration, sustainable urban regeneration and the reshaping of Harland and Wolff’s ship-building industry to move towards the manufacturing of sustainable prefabricated housing. A deeply researched and imaginatively executed piece of work.

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