Abstract

Housing Plans For The Future investigates the relationship between architecture and community. The impact of the complex and ambiguous use of architecture as a means of containment and control within social housing in Belfast is exposed. To reconcile the overlaps between social housing policy and security policy that emerged during the Troubles, the Northern Ireland office established the Standing Committee on the Security Implications of Housing Problems in Belfast (1977). This undisclosed government body created a forum where civil and military authorities could make confidential “security assessments” of the redevelopment proposals at recognised “flash point” areas between Catholic and Protestant communities. The labyrinth of defensive architectures built between 1970’s and 80’s are experienced via a series of walls through the neighbourhoods of the inner city.
Many of the open terraced streets that formed the fabric of the inner city were redeveloped in the form of inward-looking cul-de-sacs. These changes to the architecture of Belfast have changed the city’s appearance and have had an impact on how people move around their immediate areas. While Wylie’s earlier publications (British Watchtowers 2007 and Maze 2009) document disappearing military structures, Housing Plans for the Future focuses on a largely unrecognised facet of post conflict era architecture, this seemingly benign environment functions as a legacy of the Northern Ireland conflict. Funded by the AHRC, Wylie’s research reveals a range of distinct and divisive architectures within individual communities in Belfast.
The architecture in question is the unassuming built environment of the inner-city community. Including its housing, its roads, its footpaths and its built landscaping: everyday architectural elements that have been considered and placed during the Troubles conflict, intentionally designed to control the movement of people and their placement of vision.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGottingen Germany
PublisherSteidl Verlag
Commissioning bodyOutput from AHRC funded research grants scheme
Number of pages80
Edition1
ISBN (Print)9783958294882
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2018

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