A Shared Waterfront: Instilling Public Space Back Into Hamilton's Industrial Port
Clark, Connor Boyd
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Cities and waterfronts have historically been closely tied through public and private amenities offered in connection to water. Industrial expansion has created an imbalance of public life at the waterfront, eliminating recreation and disconnecting cities from this culturally important land. In Hamilton, Ontario, strong divides are created between public and industrial spaces which are detrimental to a shared waterfront experience. This thesis questions division as a design method on the waterfront, reconnecting across harsh thresholds in Hamilton’s industrial harbour through public architecture and park space. It aims to attract public activity, create interaction between separated groups and strengthen industrial ties. Four buildings are proposed, altering public and industrial relationships through architecture, spatial conditions and overlapped community programmes. These methods apply to port cities recovering from the industrialism of the past century, by regrowing public space within existing constraints, and creating a connected city where waterfronts belong to the public.