Green and Gold: Studies in Landscape and Urban Regeneration in Derry, Northern Ireland

SPONSORS Derry City Council ILEX Regeneration Company North West Office, Department for Social Development McGinnis Group, Property DevelopersPEDAGOGICAL GOALSThe quality of a city\’s open spaces has the power to transform the lives of those who inhabit them. We believe that our spirits are enlivened by what our senses perceive, and that the physical design of the public realm can alter the perceptions of the city to both its citizens and to the world.The site that we will be focusing on, the Ebrington Barracks in Derry, Ireland, is very much in the public eye and consciousness, however it carries with it a negative legacy. It has been recently decommissioned from an active base where the Unionist army waged war against the IRA. With its decommissioning, we have been asked to devise a program for the site that will serve the citizens of Derry in very pragmatics ways, whether that is to propose housing, cultural facilities, civic facilities- whatever comes out of our studio\’s exploration at the beginning of the studio, and to determine the physical nature of the open spaces that come out of the program. It is our responsibility as designers to bring more to such a situation than program, by imbuing the buildings and open spaces with meaning through physical design. The Studio will focus not on the specifics of the architecture but more heavily on the design of the public open spaces. The design of these spaces must serve to create a sense of place, identity and pride. These are program requirements which ultimately will create space that is highly valued and therefore sustained.The overall goal for the studio is to deliver a project that will:1. celebrate a new era of peace for the people of Derry2. express the knitting together of a city that has been divided ( this will be reinforced by a new bridge that is being considered at this site that will provide a much needed link between the east and west sides of the river).3. create a symbol for the rest of Europe that Derry is up and running and open for business4. an new hopefulness and that Derry is a good place to live, work and raise a family5. symbolize the NEW Derry- a city that is at peace and ready to move forward after having been frozen in conflict for 25 yearsThe studio\’s goal is to provide realistic ideas and innovative concepts that are well illustrated in the form of models and drawings so as to excite, motivate and give the citizens of Derry a palpable vision for the Ebrington Barracks that will take them forward with the site\’s development.EBRINGTON BARRACKS HISTORYEbrington Barracks is a very recently decommissioned army barracks. This is no benign army facility that has no live memory and is simply fading out through disuse. It has been in use during war-time conditions until recently and has many negative connotations for the citizens of Derry.This is a roughly 24 acre site, on the west (or Protestant side) of the Foyle River, opposite from the city center which occupies the east bank (or the Catholic side ) of the Foyle The site contains a walled, star-shaped fortress and numerous buildings that have been built in different eras and for different conflicts. The last army to use the fort was fighting the IRA during the \”trouble\” – the 30 year struggle between the Republicans ( IRA forces) and Loyalists forces which began in 1960? on \”Bloody Sunday\”. The fort has been used by the Protestant or UK forces as a base to fight against the IRA .A number of buildings on the site are listed- these being the oldest. They are to be re-commissioned and new uses are to be determined for them. However, more than half of them can be taken down. The new uses for this site are not yet determined; however this is a site that is of historical importance in the long and stormy history of Derry and one that has a strong presence in the c