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Urban Regeneration

Lowestoft, UK

Lowestoft is a 'summer town' with tourism being the only main industry left after the death of the fishing and shipbuilding industries.

The town has not much to offer but its famous east coast and leisure at 'The Broads' which are completely restricted to the summer season. All activities depend on the weather conditions and on the availability of daylight. Its lack of leisure and public spaces has caused people to travel to neighboring towns like Norwich to enjoy experiencing public life.

 

Within the town, all activies take place mainly in one line of the urban fabric, along the high street, from north London Street to south London Street; this is the east side. On the west there is The Broads, a tourist destination visited mainly in summer. In between (4km) there is nothing but a park. All daily activites then become restricted to a certain area with each residential area getting increasingly isolated. Leisure activites at easly accessible distances from the residences are often non-existend. Hence, opportunities to enjoy the town after work become limited.

 

Cultural Industry

 

'Creativity has become the principal driving force in the growth and development of cities, regions and nations'(Richard Florida).

 

The cultural industry, which plays a key role in developing creativity, has to be developed as a strategy towards regaining economic prosperity. This should integrate with the leisure requirements. Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth share a big community of artists who do not receive support from local councils. To reach and audience is hence a very difficult task; the struggle for a space and artist's concern.

 

Proposal-Live in workshop+Gallery/Studio.

The proposal is to develop a new Art Gallery cum Studio at a strategic location to weave a cultural program into the leisure time activities of the city. This will address the crying need for more leisure activities which are not dependent on the weather or daylight, and also provide a voice for the local artists and their specific brands of art. The gallery has to be designed to address and invite people who are not necesarily interested in art as well as cultural aficionados. A foot-bridge connecting the northern and southern parts of the town will run through the gallery. The building is designed with an open plan with public spaces and pathways running through it, hence inviting people to pass through it and experience what it has to offer without having them explicity enter the premises, unconstrained by its opening and closing times. the location of the gallery has been determined based on a comprenhensive 'timing space and spacing time' analysis of Lowestoft. This location will be easily accessible from all parts of the town which have hitherto become increasingly separate.