From pier to modernity: architectural histories of the seaside pier 1861-1914

Barry, Clare (2015) From pier to modernity: architectural histories of the seaside pier 1861-1914. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

[img] PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Restricted to Repository staff and depositor only until 12 January 2023.

Download (259MB)


The aim of this thesis is to establish the British seaside pier as a unique space of nineteenth century modernity. There is no doubt that the pier shared much in common with other new building types that were emerging in the second half of the nineteenth century, but its materiality, liminal location, spatial logic and mixed use made it a uniquely ambivalent and radical architecture. This thesis examines how our understanding of the pier has been informed by its chequered historiographic representation and suggests that through a return to the archive and an analysis informed by critical theory, we can begin to understand the cultural significance of the pier. As a result this reassessment contributes new knowledge and challenges established interpretations of the space. Whilst such a vast project is clearly beyond the scope of any single enquiry, this thesis represents an initial attempt to open the way to a new understanding of an important marginalized building and prompt us to question exclusions of difference from the architectural canon.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
B. > Theses
Item ID: 19029
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 16:41
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:47

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.