Infrastructure Space operates as a design and research atelier using data mapping and spatial analysis to develop design proposals that test possible spatial futures. We are particularly interested in the interface between technology and physical space, and how this has manifest in architectural and urban form. Our approach is cross thematic, spans a range of spatial scales, and embraces value and effectiveness in their manifold forms.

This year we have been evaluating the spatial implications of Brexit for the UK – Republic of Ireland border, specifically exploring ideas of digitally enabled space and seamlessness. The atelier comprises BA and MArch students and our pedagogy is grounded in multi-level, cross-disciplinary activity. The year began with a research-led, JMCE funded, workshop which brought together architects, technology consultants, community stakeholders, academics and students to trace the production and mobility of materials in a range of possible Brexit outcomes. This set the scene for linked studio briefs which have studied the relationship between manufacturing, logistics + distribution and customs + services. In October 2019, we travelled to Kyiv, Ukraine, to experience borders and explore architectural latency and obsolescence.

MArch 1 have considered customs and services through a housing project sited on the border in Belleek and reuse projects re-appropriating obsolete bank buildings in Belfast city centre. Recent events, including Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, have highlighted the fragility of current systems.

Year 6

Professional Studies

Professional Studies 1

Projects in PS1 specifically responded to the nature of transactions, how these might change in the context of Brexit and what implications they will have along the border while maintaining the principles of the Good Friday agreement, this included explorations of cross-border mobility and new kinds of spaces and how these might drive changes in residential accommodation. The students appraised the cultural, political and economic context of Belleek to explore housing as a border condition. We asked that their ideas should be manifest in a global context and produce housing which is effectively sustainable and typologies that are transferrable to other territories with similar conditions. Schemes had to take account of the alternative building regulations on either side of the border.

Professional Studies 2

Extending these ideas, PS2 explored the nature of contactless transactions at the scale of the high street and the city through increasingly obsolescent building typologies, such as Banks. Students were asked to make a proposal for the re-use of the Bank of Ireland Building (Joseph Vincent Downes, 1929-30) in central Belfast which included both transaction spaces and work spaces. Students then developed a workpackage of drawings which explicitly address matters of climate change and carbon literacy, professionalism and building and life safety. Projects reflected on the heightened need for contactlessness during the course of the unit as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Set in Belfast, these projects now form the basis for discussions with Belfast City Council about the future development of the city centre.


Year 5

Tung Wong Hiu, Chiara Martinelli, Karl Leung, Ariel Helen Chesley, Brent William Haynes, Jad Choucair, Julia Arska, Joseph James Copley, Zohir Foukroun Layrs, Thomas Owain, Andrea Gabriela Nobrega, Lok Kan Katie Au, Kelly- Louise Ward, Xinchen Yang, Leo Lima, Remi Phillips-Hood, Grace Jing Yuan Yu, Muhamad Adha Bin Salim, Silvio Lussana

Year 6

Tom Brunyard, Ziwen Cai, Joe Carter, Lauren Gabbitas, David Jones, James Kennedy, Sarah Kim, Joe Maguire, Stephanie Phillips, Jorge Reynolds, Laurence Richards, Verity Roweth, Joseph Shepherd, George Sims, Isaac Timson