This paper provides an architectural reflection on Titanic Quarter, a docklands urban regeneration scheme located in east Belfast, Northern Ireland, situated at the birthplace of the Titanic. This development exploits cultural associations with the titular ship and embodies a convergence of neo-liberal ideology and architectural branding that mark Titanic Quarter as an important material manifestation of a society in post-conflict transformation. Notwithstanding its status as a private enterprise, policy makers have embraced Titanic Quarter as a catalyst for urban renewal within inner-city east Belfast. This paper examines how the ideological approach underpinning Titanic Quarter has served to distance the consequent architectural response from the cultural context of east Belfast and the inherent regeneration challenge. The discussion reflects on the notion of economically driven regeneration within the wider context of neo-liberal regeneration and a Troubles-era and post-conflict Belfast. The paper explores the architectural iconography of the Titanic Quarter through a policy context, a cultural context and a material context of architectural forms and spaces. The reflection concludes by establishing that the variances in the public and private sector aspirations for the scheme dictate a lack of specificity to the architectural context of east Belfast.
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
Bibliographical noteDraft: Recommended for publication by Journal double blind peer review process
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- urban regeneration
- post-conflict Belfast
- architectural branding
- cultural identity
- neo-liberal regeneration.