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The Potteries Thinkbelt Study 1964.

The re-use of existing infrastructure & de-industrialised land to liberate education.


In 1964 The Architect Cedric Price created THE POTTERIES THINKBELT STUDY. This theoretical project was a reaction against the elitist university institutions (which Price believed kept education separate from the masses) and the loss of skilled manufacturing workers/developers through the Brain Drain and de-industrialisation of the post-war UK. Price proposed a new type of science and technology teaching institution. The Potteries thinkbelt was a series of interconnected faculties and student housing which was linked through the existing road and rail networks (which were underused at the time). The Rail connections not only acted as a link between sites but also acted a teaching rooms, labs and workshops. This was achieved by having container styled teaching units which could be lifted by cranes at transfer area onto or o a train depending on the requirements of the institution. Price believed that the creation of such an institution would create employment and innovation in the area and thus aid a better quality of life in the North Sta ordshire Area.

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The Potteries & the Thinkbelt interconnections


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Dense Urban Fabric of The Potteries

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Tunstall Burslem Hanley Fenton Longton Newcastle Stoke

Urban fabric Sites of de-industrialisation Faculty areas Shared faculty & Industry site Housing expansion areas Transfer huds New housing sites PTB road network PTB rail network Existing rail network Major roads

Master Diagram Produced by Cedric Price

Up until the 1950s A extensive rail network linked the heavy manufacturing industries with the rest of the country. Due to Britains loss of power via the fall of the empire, manufacturing declined and so did the need for an extensive rail infrastrcuture.

If unused land and infrasture can be used for education can it be used for other things?

Sites of massive de-industrialisation

Proposed housing, faculty & transfer sites.

Rail network (Passenger & Freight)

Thinkbelt rail network.

By the 1960s many of the major passenger and freight lines had closed due to lack of pro tability. Above is the closed Hanley Station in 1970. The closures also signalled an end to the connections between industry and communities as the two were now physically seperated. Keele university was founded in 1949 as the rst new University in Britain post WWII. It was cited by Price as being the embodiment of elitist views towards education for the few rather than the masses. View from a tarin pulling into a tranfer area. The Container style teaching facilities and cranes can be easily seen. Cover Drawing for Architectural Design, October 1966
Major road network Thinkbelt road network.