Northern Ireland-based architect John Donnelly has launched a studio dedicated to the production of finely-detailed plaster-cast architectural models exploring the diverse built environment of Belfast, Northern Ireland. “Model Citizen” was founded to promote public understanding and appreciation of the architecture and craftsmanship present in Irish cities, manifesting as an ongoing series of intricate sculptures.
Model Citizen sees its sculptures, available for closer inspection here, as a “mechanism to emphasize the beauty and significance of our built heritage,” translating art deco, brutalist, and internationalist styles into tangible, tactile sculptural objects that can be held, felt, and explored.
The urban landscape of Belfast, transitioning between industry, culture, arts, commerce, and education, makes the city a worthy destination for architects and designers. Influenced by Irish and British vernacular styles, shaped by the demands of shipbuilding, linen, security, and now post-conflict confidence, the city remains somewhat of a blank canvas for creatives to experiment, reflect, and dream.
Henning Larsen Architects has revealed plans for a £400 million development that will transform the waterfront of Belfast. At 16 acres, the master plan constitutes the Northern Irish capital’s largest single ground-up development in recent history.
Is your life lacking in dragons? Do you long for the excitement and danger of a constant, treacherous struggle for governing power? If you find yourself simply biding your time waiting for new seasons of Game of Thrones to air (or for George R.R. Martin to finally write another book) one option is to spend some time traveling to the real-life locations used in the filming of the show! From Iceland to Morocco, the show’s creators have traveled all over the world to bring the mythical world Martin describes in his novels to life on screen. While much of the filming is done in a studio, and of course there’s plenty of CGI involved, many of the landscapes and buildings seen throughout the show’s 6 seasons are real places open to the public. We can’t promise you dragons or control of the Iron Throne, but what you will get are some spectacular sights that might just make you feel like a real Westerosi.
In honor of the show’s seventh season beginning later today, here’s a list of 7 Game of Thrones filming locations you can visit! (This list is mostly spoiler-free, but you may want to read with caution if you’re not caught up!)
FaulknerBrowns Architects have released plans for a revitalization of Queens Parade, a waterfront site in Bangor, Northern Ireland that has long been left underutilized. Situated next to the Bangor Marina, the mixed-used development will include residential, entertainment, and retail buildings in an effort to secure the site as a destination for both locals and tourists to connect with the water.
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.
After initially getting the go-ahead earlier this year, the design for the Maze Peace Centre in Northern Ireland, designed by Daniel Libeskind in collaboration with McAdam Architects, was dealt a major blow last week, when First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson retracted his support for the controversial building, saying that it would be wrong to continue with the build without achieving a consensus.
Read on after the break to find out more about the controversy.