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Belfast

How Architecture Tells the Story of Conflict and Peace in Northern Ireland

06:00 - 11 May, 2017
How Architecture Tells the Story of Conflict and Peace in Northern Ireland, Over the past fifty years, Northern Ireland has transitioned from war to peace © Robinson McIllwaine Architects / Hufton+Crow / Flickr user: placeni / Flickr user: dr_john2005 / Wikipedia Commons User: Fribbler
Over the past fifty years, Northern Ireland has transitioned from war to peace © Robinson McIllwaine Architects / Hufton+Crow / Flickr user: placeni / Flickr user: dr_john2005 / Wikipedia Commons User: Fribbler

Architecture is often intertwined with political context. This deep connection is especially evident in Northern Ireland, a place of infamously complex politics. The state came into existence as a consequence of war in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned into an independent Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) and Northern Ireland, an industrious region still controlled by Britain. Conflict has since ensued in Northern Ireland between a majority pro-British Unionist population, and a minority, though significant, Irish Nationalist community. The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a brutal struggle, with over three thousand people killed, thousands more injured, and harrowing images spread across the world.

The turbulence of Northern Ireland’s conflict is played out in the architectural development of Belfast, its capital city. With thirty years of war from the 1960s to 1990s, the architecture of Belfast embodied a city under siege. When the prospect of peace dawned in the 1990s, an architecture of hope, confidence, and defiance emerged. In the present day, with Northern Ireland firmly on a peaceful path, Belfast has played host to a series of bold architectural ideas and landmark public buildings by award-winning architects. With the rich, bitter, emotive history of Northern Ireland viewed through multiple, often conflicting prisms, the architectural development of Belfast offers a tangible narrative of a city which burned, smoldered, and rose from the ashes.

Aftermath of the 1975 Mountainview Tavern bombing in Belfast © User: Tdv123 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA-4.0 The Titanic Centre, Belfast © Flickr user placeni. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) The Lyric Theatre by O'Donnell & Tuomey Architects © Dennis Gilbert The Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre by Heneghan & Peng © Hufton+Crow + 20

Hall McKnight To Open A Temporary Pavilion In London's King's Cross

05:15 - 22 May, 2015
Hall McKnight To Open A Temporary Pavilion In London's King's Cross, © Hall McKnight
© Hall McKnight

Belfast-based Hall McKnight are set to open a pop-up pavilion in London's King's Cross as part of the 2015 London Festival of Architecture. Located in Cubitt Square, the project forms part of the New Horizon’s initiative, supported by the Irish Architecture Foundation and ID15 (the year of Irish Design 2015). The structure, built from a collection of cut boards, "explores how the phenomenon of the city is assembled from individual pieces." The interior spaces will feature an installation of bricks reclaimed from a street of row houses in Belfast.

Warren Woods Passive House / GO Logic

01:00 - 23 January, 2015
Warren Woods Passive House / GO Logic, © Trent Bell
© Trent Bell

© Trent Bell © Trent Bell © Trent Bell © Trent Bell + 13

  • Architects

  • Location

    Belfast, United States
  • Design Team

    Matthew O’Malia, RA, Principal, Timothy Lock, RA, Project Architect, Riley Pratt
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Home for Home RVH / MCGONIGLEMCGRATH

01:00 - 15 May, 2014
Home for Home RVH / MCGONIGLEMCGRATH, © Aidan McGrath
© Aidan McGrath

© Aidan McGrath © Aidan McGrath © Aidan McGrath © Aidan McGrath + 18

University of Ulster’s Belfast City Campus Proposal / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

01:00 - 24 March, 2013
University of Ulster’s Belfast City Campus Proposal / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
© Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, their proposal for the University of Ulster’s Belfast City Campus has recently received planning permission upon winning the competition in January 2012. The campus is part of a £250m higher education project to provide 70,000 sqm of central teaching, faculty and social learning accommodation across three linked sites in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast city center.  This high density urban university campus blurs the boundaries between the University environments and the city by providing publicly accessible thoroughfares and facilities across the lower three floors. More images and architects' description after the break.

Lyric Theatre Belfast / O'Donnell & Tuomey Architects

01:00 - 15 June, 2012
Lyric Theatre Belfast / O'Donnell & Tuomey Architects, ©  Dennis Gilbert
©  Dennis Gilbert

©  Dennis Gilbert ©  Dennis Gilbert ©  Dennis Gilbert ©  Dennis Gilbert + 32

Titanic Belfast / CivicArts & Todd Architects

01:00 - 7 April, 2012
Titanic Belfast / CivicArts & Todd Architects, © Christopher Heaney
© Christopher Heaney

© Gareth O'Cathain © Gareth O'Cathain © Christopher Heaney © Christopher Heaney + 77

  • Architects

     CivicArts(Concept Design Architects), Todd Architects (Lead Consultant/Architect)
  • Location

    Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Photographs