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Wednesday23 July 2014

Romulus Sim – Manchester School of Architecture

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Romulus’ thesis project, LIVE LAB, calls for a substantial re-think in the consumption, production and inhabitation cultures by addressing the abandoned waterways of the post-industrial port of Birkenhead.

Student Statement

Project: LIVE LAB – Aquaculture Research & Leisure Park

‘LIVE LAB’ is a study of sustainable urban aqua-farming within the abandoned waterways of Birkenhead Docks. The scheme investigates the processes of integrated aquaculture along with a hybrid landscape of leisure and education, resulting in an amphibious field of production and recreation.

The scheme proposes the re-programming of Birkenhead’s waterways into urban aquaculture waterscapes, whilst preserving existing activities within the dockland area. These aquaculture waterscapes become micro-ecosystems which are self-sustainable through an integration of kelp, mussel and fish farming within environmentally controlled systems.

The project adopts several experimental techniques which draw from environmental, cultural and experiential parameters to result in a project which aims to re-think consumption, production and inhabitational cultures of post-industrial port towns like Birnkenhead.

Tutor’s Statement

Project: LIVE LAB - Aquaculture Research & Leisure Park

Romulus’ thesis project, LIVE LAB, calls for a substantial re-think in the consumption, production and inhabitation cultures of our urban environment. Using innovative generative design methodologies transposed to the context of the post-industrial port of Birkenhead, the project seeks to address the abandoned waterways through a combination of preserving existing dockland activities alongside re-programming to facilitate aquaculture waterscapes. The arrangement of the project’s infrastructural elements both in the water and on land is a result of a sophisticated process of mapping programmatic data and optimising interrelationships within the overall system. Through rigorous research and inquiry into sustainable urban aquaculture, the project explores the relationships between leisure, education and economic development. Considered in this manner, the aquaculture research and leisure park is a hybrid landscape comprising a series of micro-ecosystems that are self-sustainable via a mutually beneficent farming of fish, mussel and kelp. The evolution and progressive development of micro-economies in relation to tourism, culture, education, aquafarming and business offers a highly creative and multi-layered strategic approach that is both fully implementable and innovative in design terms.

Dr Nick Dunn
Principal Lecturer
Director of Studies, BArch

 

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