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Is Architecture the Saviour of The High Street?

Part 2 Dissertation 2014
James Rich
University of Huddersfield Huddersfield | UK
The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate, and validate, the hypothesis that architecture can save the High Street. This paper critically examines the cause of the issue, pivotal points in the evolution of exchange, the influence of the Digital Age, finally developing a concept for a liberated High Street.

The coming together of the economic crisis, rise in business rates, and out-of-town Centres have had a devastating affect causing the High Street to decline as the number of vacant units soar. The evolution of the house of exchange reveals that a concept must be developed extensively before the form becomes settled in accordance to the principle. The exploration of Trinity Leeds Centre via Mobile Applications had shown that there must be a balance between points of connectivity, and space to reflect.

The Structure Series responded to the questions raised in this thesis by developing a concept that: established equilibrium between social and transactional spaces, addressed the need for more versatile spaces, created undefined areas that provoke expression, and utilised the stock of vacant buildings by reintroducing full time occupancy to the High Street.

By combining the versatility of the High Street, the adaptability of Centres, and the passion of communities, the High Street can be resilient once more.

James Rich

Mr Gerard Bareham
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