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INBlackpool

Part 2 Project 2013
Nicholas Peters
Newcastle University, UK
‘INBlackpool’ explores issues surrounding flexibility and adaptability in architecture. Blackpool was chosen as a location due to it being a microcosm of change. In the immediate sense the town’s population fluctuates on a yearly cycle as the seasons, new attractions and one-off events manipulate the towns focus. In the long term Blackpool faces economic change either flourishing as it capitalises on the ‘Fracking’ industry or failing to resurface as a thriving sea-side town. It was decided to engage with Blackpool’s transport infrastructure as any change in fortune would be magnified in these supporting systems.

The existing transport infrastructure was unconnected, resulting in a disorientation arrival experience at the rear of town. The project seeks to consolidate the arrival experience in a new transport interchange. However, contrary to contemporary thinking regarding building to ‘projected figures’ or ‘current averages’, this thesis focuses on how in uncertain times a building can structure itself to react to change both on a daily basis through to more permanently in the future. The interchange was paired with an investment centre that sits above it. Uniquely placed the investment centre aims to redirect and assist in new economic opportunities and small business formation, whilst providing a prominent ‘shop window’ for the town. The centre contains within everything from marketing services to commercial property listings.

The project began as a commentary on the mundaneness of current transport ticketing. This manifested itself in the production of a ticket machine which produced a unique ticket dependent on a number of daily variables. From this initial exploration, the idea of the ‘instant’ unique experience as well as levels of infrastructure emerged.

The fluctuations in demand for the different transport systems were addressed by taking the analogy of a valve; resulting in the redirection and prioritisation of different forms of transport and user groups. In providing a unique arrival experience the interchange was designed through levels of infrastructure with varying degrees of permanency allowing the building to subtly change. This provided a unique user experience whilst accommodating Blackpool’s yearly cycle, from the illumination season to the hosting of political party conferences.

Nicholas Peters

Tutor(s)

2013
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