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UCLan students unveil exciting plans for Preston’s Docklands

19 December 2012

Lyndsey Boardman

Students produce design proposal

Architecture students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have unveiled exciting plans to re-generate Preston’s Docklands which include an underwater casino, a tree top walk and a sustainable fish farm.

The team of 40 second year students from The Grenfell-Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment have created a scale model of Preston Albert Edward Dock proposing a re-development of the commercial and residential areas with modern attractions but in keeping with the original identity of the area.

The model, which is 200th the size of the Docklands, is part of a four week University project undertaken by the students who worked in groups to develop the overall plan before presenting their ideas to a Planning Officer from Preston City Council as part of the exercise.

 

“We received positive feedback from the Planning Officer who viewed our scale model and said we have come up with very innovative and exciting ideas.”

The Albert Edward Dock, which was officially opened in 1892, is the largest inland dock in the UK but ceased to be used for this purpose in 1979.  The students’ design proposes that fresh water is fed from the River Ribble at the easterly end of the docks to descend through three different weir levels that generate electricity and purify the water.

Together with two reverse Archimedes screw generators located in the weirs and several airborne wind turbines, this would supply enough power to generate 800 homes with electricity for a year.

Student Hollie Muir commented: “Although Preston City Council had no plans to regenerate the Docklands in the near future it was a worthwhile exercise, in fact the River Ribble already has an Archimedes screw generator so the concept is entirely possible. 

“We received positive feedback from the Planning Officer who viewed our scale model and said we have come up with very innovative and exciting ideas.”

Other plans the students came up with include new residential housing, a tree top walk suspended from three alternative viewpoints, a culture and history community centre and retail park.  An iconic viewing tower at the west end of the Docklands would look out over the marina and act a reference point for ships.

Fellow architecture student Jacob Hussey said: “It’s been a great exercise to work in groups on a large scale project and I’m really pleased with the final result.  Presenting our project to Preston City Council meant we had a good experience of what it’s like to work in a professional environment with industry clients.”

"We want the new department of architecture to be of service to the people of Preston and Lancashire and this short speculative project explores a few interesting urban and architecture ideas."

UCLan Architecture tutor John Wakefield commented: “We want the new department of architecture to be of service to the people of Preston and Lancashire and this short speculative project explores a few interesting urban and architecture ideas.

“All of the students worked very hard to complete the project to a high standard with a tight deadline.  We want UCLan’s architecture course to really make its mark and I hope this task is thought provoking for the people of Preston.”

Preston Dockland Regeneration / UCLan 2nd Year Urban Design from Tomasz Trzesniowski on Vimeo.