NTU Architecture Subject Group

Iron Island

After a severe storm, the MS Riverdance cargo ship became stranded on the sands of Blackpool beach. She could not be refloated and so after most of her cargo was salvaged by members of the public, she was bought by a local scrap metal dealer and broken up on site. The spectacle drew thousands of tourists to the area through the traditionally quiet winter season and the incident was explored as a case study for increasing revenue for local businesses year-round.
This project is an exploration of a scenario where the event gave birth to a new industry in the struggling seaside resort. One in which every winter disused ships are purposely run aground on the intertidal flats and dismantled for profit and entertainment.
Jutting out from the coast with cynical pride, the Iron Island is the nexus of this industrial tourism, a place where Blackpool’s specific brand of entertainment and gambling meets maritime salvage and scrap metal recycling. It is a logical evolution of Blackpool’s Victorian pleasure pier typology, crossbreeding the processes of industry with the mechanics of arcades and amusement rides.
The family friendly mascot of the Iron Island offers the chance for visitors to share in the bounty of the Industry, but this Robin Hood persona just serves as a distraction to the untold environmental and social harms that have ravaged the town as a result of the yearly harvest of steel from the sea.

Alex Wilcock
Student name
Alex Wilcock
MArch Architecture

MArch Architecture

The Master of Architecture (MArch) embraces the challenge of 21st Century architectural practice and focuses on educating architects with a global outlook through projects set in local, national, and international contexts.

Through “vertical studios” in each year of study, steered by leading practitioners and academics, we put current architectural thinking at the heart of the course. We locate architectural design centrally as an academic discipline through rigorous cross-disciplinary design research and complex methodological application. The course recognises the essential cross-cutting and cross-disciplinary nature of architecture, bringing together diverse disciplines aiming to create collaborative/group work as a means of developing design creativity within the realistic teamwork environment of practice. All projects will be developed considering sustainability, environmental, socio-economic and cultural aspects, rather than being studied and applied as discrete areas of teaching and learning.

Read more about the MArch Architecture course

Discover more talent