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Thursday, 22 December 2016

Silent Valley, Open House Belfast, text by Samantha McGahon

Writing and image by Samantha McGahon. 
Samantha attended the Silent Valley tour which ran as part of our Open House Festival 2016 and wrote this beautiful reflective text about her experience.





As I drive along the motorway I have the urge to follow a truck and its cargo to its final destination, along behind, along the motorway.
Perhaps its end is only the next turn off the motorway up the ramp to the next building site or construction site. the junctions one after the other disappear  in the rear view mirror until reaching a ship yard container park to be loaded, piled, winched, levered from solid ground to flowing tides of commerce. Destinations logged, shipments dispatched.
I cannot follow these goods beyond my planned trips but can I follow my own shipment of bricks from the kiln. From where? Ireland, Turkey, India? In India where women in bare feet bend moulding clay, stamping logos into wet clay in the dry season while nicely dressed young men coach them through rehearsed interviews.
Taking a peak into red hot furnaces, temperatures decided which colour the bricks out from grey to red.
"Where are the bricks made?" Asks the lady as we stand in the subtearreranan tunnel of the overflow pipe of The Silent Valley Dam
"I don't know you'll have to ask Phil he should know." 
As we stand waiting to climb down the ladder to the funnel, I stand at the back at the group a young couple, the father in wheelchair carries his young daughter on his lap. Going up the hill they both help him, or stop him from falling back. At the top of the hill mother and daughter go to explore some stairs while he waits at the top.
We climb down the ladder past the abandoned jackdaw nest, through the tunnel lit by the torch of guide/engineer/headof department listening for he's desire for the water to 'dirtier' as the natural water is too clean to treat.
I find Phil
"Where is the brick made?
"In Northern Ireland I think,"
Is that another history?

Videos
https://vimeo.com/189281099

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

EXHIBITION of Work by Master of Architecture students, QUB

PS², 11 North Street, Belfast, BT1 1NA

vernissage/
viewing on Wednesday 21st December 6-8pm

                                                         

Farming produces waste like other industries. Not just shapeless carrots or pumpkins passed Halloween, but by-products such as used animal bags or farmers twine. This difficult-to-recycle waste material is now the material and subject of practical, spatial design proposals by architecture students from Queen's University, Belfast
 



Three groups of Masters of Architecture students at Queen’s University show the outcomes of their material investigation. They present an alternative approach to architecture- finding the spatial story of a material through intimate scrutiny, trial and application. The hope is that it leads to a tighter fit between technology, construction processes and spatial experiences, resulting in less waste, and more sustainable, innovative outcomes. 
This work arises from the Architecture Masters Studio: Without Precedent, led by Professor Ruth Morrow and Architect, Robert Jamison in the School of the Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast. 
Opening hours week commencing 19th DecemberTues and Wed, 1-5pm

Monday, 31 October 2016

Art & Architecture | Exhibition & Events

Monday 7 November 2016
Black Box, 18-22 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LA
Contact: +44(0) 28 9036 8963; esrcfestivalni@ulster.ac.uk

Led by Ulster University's Transitional Justice Institute with local artist David Turner and architect Michael Wilkinson, we will reimagine the peace walls as spaces for sharing and for learning about all sides of the community.
David and Michael will explain their approach to design and demonstrate the creative process, and will then invite guests to attend the Ulster University's Art College on 8 and 10 November to come in and work on their own designs.
Background:
Artist David Turner and architect Michael Wilkinson have been working for 18 months on a cross-disciplinary, multi faceted project, 'The Theoretical Re-development of Belfast'. While both are firmly grounded in their artistic and architectural practice respectively, they are both conceptually driven. Their work progresses through a mutual understanding that no constraints be placed on ideas. This allows for any and all possibilities and outcomes to be evaluated. No ideas are bad ideas.
Between artist and architect, the project is envisaged as a multi faceted Urban Regeneration project. It seeks to Reimagine the City of Belfast and use this as a catalyst to promote good design throughout the Provence of Ulster. The work is largely artistic in conception and explores many avenues. It is a beginning and a process rather than a conclusion.

Monday, 24 October 2016

StreetSpace - Mapping Castle Street Workshop


 You are invited to the workshop: ‘Mapping Castle Street: an interdisciplinary workshop about the character of the street’, in PLACE on November 17-18, 2016.



Streets are scenes of conflict. They are contested public spaces where fundamentally different people can meet. Architects, planners, designers and policy makers have designed, managed and controlled the way streets are used, occupied and transited. Academics have raised awareness of the value of streets that are diverse, vibrant and inclusive, while urban policy focuses on the commercial value of city streets, and urban designers in their aesthetic and formal qualities. 

But what makes a good street? Is it the boundaries and thresholds created by buildings binding it? Is it the use of those buildings? Or is it the street’s identity, history and memory?

We will develop a series of layers of analysis including but not limited to: mapping, drawings, diagrams, photographs, interviews, archive work, soundscapes, and more.

We are not looking for a universal solution to the use, design and management of streets, but a culturally specific array of possibilities that our streets could potentially have. 

Castle Street is an ideal case study to consider, for it is in the core of the city, it connects very different areas, and above all it is loaded with meaning and potential.

We invite students, academics and professionals of architecture, planning, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, film, media, arts and any other disciplines interested in the analysis of public space.

Join us for two days of exploration!

The workshop is free of charge.

Location: PLACE,  7-9 Lower Garfield Street. Belfast
Date: Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November 2016, 10am - 5pm

Please RSVP Agustina Martire to confirm your attendance before November 16th. a.martire@qub.ac.uk

Facebook event: Check for updates on presentations and participants.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

StreetSpace Reading Group, QUB


Streets are scenes of conflict. They are contested public spaces where fundamentally different people can meet. Architects, planners, designers and policy makers have designed, managed and controlled the way streets are used, occupied and transited. Academics have raised awareness of the value of streets that are diverse, vibrant and inclusive, while urban policy has many times focused on the commercial value of city streets, and urban design practice focuses on the formal and aesthetic principles that constitute a good street.

But what makes a good street? Is it the boundaries and thresholds created by buildings binding it? Is it the programme and use of those buildings? Or is it the street’s identity, history and memory? How different is a street defined by one single block building, from a succession of diverse plot sized buildings? Do these physical elements affect the use and perception of the street?

This reading group will explore different approaches to the analysis of streets as public spaces. We invite students, academics and professionals of architecture, planning, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, film, media, arts and any other disciplines interested in the analysis of public space.

Location: Training room 6 – The Graduate School - Queen’s University Belfast
Dates: Thursdays 12.30pm
13 October / 3 November / 8 December

First Reading: Appleyard, D., Gerson, M. S., & Lintell, M. (1981). Livable streets. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Please RSVP Agustina Martire to confirm your attendance. a.martire@qub.ac.uk
Please bring your own lunch and coffee.
Facebook event:
Link to first text:

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Exclusive Film Preview: New Town Utopia

Exclusive Preview: New Town Utopia
Brownlow Library
Craigavon 
BT65 5DP
Tuesday 6 September
6:30pm
FREE

We are delighted to host film maker Christopher Smith, director of New Town Utopia for an exclusive Q&A and preview of excerpts from his upcoming documentary.

Christopher is joining us as part of Capturing Craigavon - a community-led, PLACE-delivered, investigation into the history of the new town of Craigavon. This event is the final in a series of documentaries, assembled for their insights into the design history of the 20th century, with a particular focus on the post-war urban design and architecture style from which Craigavon emerged.

In preparation for the event, we asked Chris for a little background to the project.

What inspired you to make this documentary?

I grew up in Essex and spent a lot of time in Basildon as a child. It always had a sense of ‘otherness’ compared to other towns. This came from the architecture and textures and the intriguing sculptures and public art.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Ward Wylie Atelier Presents: Landscape Anomalies

Ward Wylie Atelier invite you to the launch of new work centred on the Glens of Antrim.
The work consists of a boxed-set of writing, maps and photographs responding to notable aspects of local landscape. Anomalies which catch the eye, delight the mind and so enrich the wider experience
of hills and glens.


Venue: J. Mc Collam's Bar Mill St Cushendall
Friday 23 September 6.30 - 9.30 pm
Music and light refreshments

RSVP seamusward6@gmail.com

Thursday, 5 May 2016

UAHS Presents: Your Architecture, Your Heritage

Your Architecture, Your Heritage is a new programme by Ulster Architectural Heritage Society designed to help you get involved in the promotion, protection and regeneration of built heritage in your area.

UAHS are hosting four introductory sessions in Belfast, Newry Mourne & Down, Derry City & Strabane, and Fermanagh & Omagh council areas.  These events are an opportunity for you to showcase local historic buildings valued by you and to build heritage networks in your area.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Book Launch: 'Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways 1973-2013' by Edwin McMillan

New title from Newtownards-based Colourpoint Books launches tomorrow, Thursday 21 April at 12:30. To coincide with the 40th birthday of Central Station later this month, the launch will take place on the station's concourse. 

The launch will be attended by the publisher, the author, and Translink's Chief Operating Officer, Philip O’Neill, as well as other key staff. 


About the book
The railway system that makes up Northern Ireland Railways was formed in 1967 and remains open to this day despite threats of closure and the devastating effects of the ‘Troubles’. This new book records its history through the eyes of the author, an NIR employee for 40 years.

With interesting stories and much first-hand detail, this volume recounts the frequent dark days on this small network. On many occasions throughout the ‘Troubles’ there was disruption to train services; buildings and infrastructure were targeted; rolling stock destroyed; and passengers and staff were killed and injured. 

However, railway staff, including the author himself, had a determination to keep services running, many putting their lives at risk in the process.

On the brighter side, and through all adversity, Belfast Central Railway was re-opened; the Cross-Harbour Rail Link was constructed; railway routes and stations were re-opened; relaying of track continued; new stations were built; and new generations of trains were brought onto the railway.

Documented in detail, and featuring a comprehensive and unique timeline of incidents during the ‘Troubles’, this record of NIR is illustrated with many images from the author’s own personal collection.

This title is available to purchase now from www.colourpoint.co.uk, £18

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Belfast School of Architecture presents 'Harbinder Birdi: Integrating Infrastructure'

This Thursday, 14 April, Harbinder Birdi, Head of Infrastructure at Hawkins\Brown architects will be discussing the practice’s approach to integrating major infrastructure projects into our cities. Examples will include three of the central section Crossrail stations, a new station bridge in Croydon and the proposals for Heathrow City, which explores the transformation of Heathrow's existing infrastructure from an international aviation hub to being redeveloped to house the communities in outer London.

Thursday 14 April 2016 | 6:00PM
Conor Lecture Theatre
Ulster University, Belfast Campus


Harbinder Birdi is a senior Partner at Hawkins\Brown, an award-winning architectural practice that has a reputation as one of the leading design practices in the UK. He is the Principle Architect delivering the designs of Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Liverpool Street station, three of the central section Crossrail stations and has collaborated extensively with both engineering and contractor led multidisciplinary teams, delivering projects utilising 3D modelling software to aid both the design and construction of these projects. Harbinder is an external critic at Schools of Architecture and lectures in both professional practice and multi-disciplinary design. He is also a previous winner of ’40 under 40’, a prestigious design award recognizing the best young architects under 40.

QUB Architecture Society Presents 'OMA Talk: Chris Van Duijn'

QUB Architecture and QUB Architecture Society are delighted to invite you to a lecture by Chris van Duijn.

Chris is one of the nine partners of OMA, a leading international architectural practice founded by Rem Koolhaas in 1975 in Rotherdam, The Netherlands. 

OMA’s buildings and masterplans around the world and their theories have been influential in contemporary architecture for generations. Please read more about Chris' work at OMA here: 
http://oma.eu/partners/chris-van-duijn.

Monday 18 April | 5PM
The Ashby, room GM/001, QUB, Stranmillis Road, Belfast
The talk is open to all and free of charge. 

Symposium: Belfast School of Architecture Presents 'Smart Working: Re-design of the public sector workplace environment'

For some time now, it has been well understood that the often complex variables impacting upon the design of the workplace (buildings, work patterns, technology, workforce & inter-generational expectations, etc.) can and should be managed if the public sector is to occupy 21st C. office space that is fit for purpose. Understanding this takes us beyond simplistic real estate metrics and into a procurement process that is much more holistic, analytical and responsive.

In partnership with the Strategic Investment Board, Belfast School of Architecture is offering this free, one-day symposium, hosted at Ulster University. It will look at key design, procurement and implementation issues underpinning ‘smart working’ in the UK government sector and some of the challenges they present in the design of our buildings and cities.

Friday 15 April 2016 | 9:15AM - 4PM
Ulster University, 25-51 York St, Belfast, BT15 1ED
Free but limited capacity, click here to book

Friday, 1 April 2016

Ráth: An Exhibition of Landscape as Infrastructure


Monday 4 - Saturday 23 April 2016
Special lunchtime event, 1-2pm, Tuesday 5 April
PLACE, 7-9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast, BT1 1FP


We're delighted to be hosting this beautiful exhibition of work emerging from the Masters of Architecture studio in UCD exploring Landscape and Infrastructure around Lough Foyle and the Foyle river valley.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Upcoming Exhibition | Identifying Place: An exhibition to showcase investigative works from Master of Architecture students at Ulster University and Queens University Belfast

15-18 March 2016
Opening event Tuesday 15 March 5-7pm
PLACE
7-9 Lower Garfield Street
BT6 0DJ
belfast
north street : smithfield + union

PLACE is delighted to host this collaborative exhibition, displaying the approaches of our two architecture schools to neighbouring areas of the city. 

Students from QUB SPACE explore North Street as one of the few remaining architecturally and socially diverse public spaces in Belfast City Centre. The Masters of Architecture project, led by urban designer Michael Corr and lecturer in architecture Agustina Martire, analyses North Street within an urban context that  is fractured, divided by motorways, car parks, empty buildings, and large retail buildings. Within this seemingly bleak urban landscape, North Street still offers a complex vibrancy and diversity. Current redevelopment plans, however, threaten the mere existence of such streets in Belfast. The project highlights the value of North Street in its complexity and diversity.

The adjacent Smithfield+Union neighbourhood - between present day Castle Court, Millfield/Carrick Hill, Royal Avenue, and the expanding Ulster University Campus - was once an area outside the city walls that developed around the historic routes of North Street and Donegall Street. It is the original home to Smithfield Market and Haymarket, and contains some of the city's oldest streets and listed Victorian and Art Deco buildings. Over the last forty years however, the area has been both neglected and subject to multiple large-scale redevelopment schemes that have left high levels of derelict or vacant properties, and surface car parks; remaining areas are under threat.  

In this context, as part of an Ulster University Master of Architecture studio coordinated by Lecturer Saul Golden, students have been documenting the physical fabric and the life of the neighbourhood through drawings, models, photography, and film. They present a snapshot of what exists and what is rapidly disappearing along the North Street artery and surrounding areas, to promote discussions about the neighbourhood’s future and its connections with the wider city.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Belfast talks at Civic Trust AGM - 7 March

BELFAST CIVIC TRUST

Notice of the Annual General Meeting of the Belfast Civic Trust to be held on Monday  March 7,  2016 at 5.30 p.m. in Christ Church, Inst, Belfast.

Guest Speakers:

Chris McCracken, Belfast City Council
"Belfast Regeneration  and Investment Strategy"

James Orr, Director, Friends of the Earth
"The Friends of the Earth Development Plan for Belfast"

There will be refreshments at the meeting. Visitors can park at the front of Inst and can make their way to Christchurch through the Inst front entrance. Christchurch is at the back of Inst.

All welcome. Drinks and nibbles served.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Open Lecture: 'Like Humans Do'

Architecture at Queen's is pleased to invite you to the lecture: 'Like Humans Do', by Riccardo Marini from world renowned Gehl Architects.

Tuesday 23 February, 1PM
Room LG111, David Keir Building, Stranmillis Road


This lecture is part of the lecture series of History and Theory of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast.



Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Archive films at Royal Victoria Hospital

Films from the NI Screen Digital Screen Archive are on show at the RVH until 19 February

CITY AS A GALLERY PROJECT AT THE COFFEE DOC RVH

A show reel including archive film footage of the Royal Victoria Hospital from the 1938 will run on a screen in the Coffee Doc, Level 2 Outpatients, RVH until 19 February. 

The show reel forms part of CITY AS A GALLERY - a Belfast City Council project, which is being programmed and delivered by local organisation PLACE, who have been working with BHSCT Arts in Health and Catering Operations.

The engaging footage is part of the NI Screen Digital Film Archive and includes:

       Royal Victoria Hospital (1938) From diagnosis to treatment, this curious film shows the daily life of the hospital.

       Land of Ulster (1950), the Governors Notebook (1955) and Charm of Ulster (1959) show the linen industry from the flax fields to the Falls Foundry and finally the shop windows in Donegall Place.

       Join the production line and watch Kennedys Bakery (1962) work their magic in Beechmount.

       Relive the magic of holidays in Portrush in Many Happy Returns (1956)

       Ride on a Tram Car through Belfast (1901)

       Enjoy the natural beauty of local landscape from the Giants Causeway to the mountains of Mourne filmed by the British Travel Association in Charm of Ulster (1959)

       Marvel at the sight of elephants parading across the bridge into Derry City in Chipperfields Circus comes to Town (c.1960) filmed by J.W. Stirling.

       Bangor Square Dancing (1957) by the Pickie Pool, filmed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

CITY AS A GALLERY showcases the visual arts throughout the city, making us aware of how important the arts are to the quality of our everyday life.  Venues for project activity focus on a selected route across Belfast from West to East and through the city centre which includes the Royal site.  As part of the programme, PLACE are asking for your feedback - there will be a FEEDBACK book available in the Coffee Doc for your thoughts on the show reel, alternatively you can email feedback  via this link City as a Gallery Feedback

PLACE (Planning Landscape Architecture Community Environment) is an organisation dedicated to the making of great places across Northern Ireland.  Visit www.placeni.org for further info.

Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive is a free public access resource for anyone who has an interest in moving images. Spanning from 1897 to the present day, the films in the Digital Film Archive cover all aspects of life in Northern Ireland and includes everything from dramas to documentaries, newsreels and features, animation to amateur footage. As part of the British Film Institutes ambitious Britain on Film project, the Digital Film Archive has been working to digitise and share films from the BFI and National Museums Northern Ireland collections like the ones you can watch here in the Royal Victoria Hospital. To explore the Digital Film Archive online visit: www.digitalfilmarchive.net

For further information contact Paula McHugh, BHSCT Arts in Health Manager Tel. 9504 4075


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Cinema and the City Presents: Ports & Harbours/ Places and Films

9 February - 10 May
Black Box
Hill Street
BT1 2LA
FREE ENTRY

As part of their ongoing work exploring the relationship between Cinema and City, QUB research group CACity present a new film series looking at ports and harbours. 

The first screening is on 9th February at 5.30pm in the Black Box, and features four short films about Belfast by members of CACity, followed by 1966 film 'Battle of Algiers'. 

All welcome!

Places and Film Nights is a collaboration between Film and Architecture, Ulster University Belfast Schools of Architecture, Glass Eye Ciné, and CACity QUB.

Contact: m.haycocks@ulster.ac.uk

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

An invitation to enter the AAI Awards 2016

Invitation to Enter 31st AAI Annual Awards 2016
Darc Space, 26 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1
Deadline: 29th of January 12 - 6pm

Planning, Regeneration and Development Seminar Series

Commencing Thursday 11 February 2016, 17.00 – 18.00
Ulster University, York Street, Belfast
Refreshments available in the foyer from 16.30

The Planning Team at Ulster University (UPLAN*) are running a new seminar series exploring issues in planning, regeneration and development.

Hosted by the Built Environment Research Institute (BERI) at Ulster University, the purpose of this seminar series is to bring together practitioners, researchers and students to promote good practice, exchange ideas and stimulate debate on planning, regeneration and development.

Seminars will be led by practitioners and researchers from Northern Ireland and beyond. The series aims to attract an inclusive audience and is open to anyone interested in engaging with contemporary planning issues. 

The series kicks off with a seminar entitled Creating value in planning and development – reflections on the balancing act, and will be delivered by BERI visiting Professor Diana Fitzsimons. 

The seminar is free to attend. To assist with catering, please RSVP by email to uplan@ulster.ac.uk.