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A Vessel of Possibilities : Extracting the moving image of Whitby

Part 1 Project 2013
Roseanne Puddicombe
Sheffield Hallam University, UK
The scheme is a cinema/exhibition space which explores the relationship between Whitby and the development of the mining industry along the heritage coastline and the effects of coastal erosion relative to this. It is a space that educates about Whitby’s past whilst showcasing its present and shelters from Whitby’s extreme weather whilst exposing its power.

The town of Whitby has developed due to its position as the point at which the River Esk meets the sea. The river divides the town into a more tourist focused side to the east whilst locals tend to stick to the west. The site of the scheme is Tate Hill Pier which protrudes from the east side of the town, it was chosen as its form closely mirrors the main Whitby piers whose structure was a major inspiration for the project. The result of this long, narrow form is that the site and thus the building are exposed to the elements on three edges and also that they enjoy 270 degrees of unobstructed views out to sea and to the town. Additionally, by extending out into the river mouth the pier is situated in a neutral zone, bridging the divide between facilities for tourists and for locals.

The site is very visible to tourists due to its location at the lowest level of the valley. The tunnel, which is excavated from the pier, provides an interactive education of the experiences of miners in Whitby for families to enjoy. The cinema space has numerous screens and visitors are provided with headphones to enable them to select from a variety of short films being shown at once. The documentaries are on the topic of both the mining history and the general history of Whitby. This concept continues into the evening when a range of feature films are shown allowing groups with different tastes to enjoy the cinema experience together in a town that does not currently have a permanent cinema facility. The building also has a rooftop restaurant which will attract tourists and locals alike due to its elevated position which will unlock previously unattainable views.

Roseanne Puddicombe


• Page Hits: 2351         • Entry Date: 24 September 2013         • Last Update: 24 September 2013