Friday, 26 February 2010

'The Politics of Architectural Destruction' Conference 23-24 April 2010

Click the poster above to enlarge.

QUB ARCSOC Journal Launch - photos from the night!

Photos above by David Rushe.

The journal is now available for sale in the PLACE Bookshop for £4.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Landscape Institute 2010 lecture series

Click the flyer to enlarge

PLACE involvement in shortlisted Derry City of Culture bid

Image via S,A&T on Flickr

From BBC News NI:
Londonderry has beat off competition to make it onto the shortlist to become the UK's first City of Culture in 2013.

Derry will join Sheffield, Norwich and Birmingham in bidding for the title.

PLACE has been involved in the architectural aspect of the bid so we're delighted!

BBC News:
City shortlisted for culture bid

April at PLACE

Image above by Norman Taylor, (c) 2010

The Bel Tel has an interview with Norman Taylor, whose exhibition Old Shed launches in April at PLACE.

Belfast Telegraph: A shed load of art

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Daniel Libeskind to chair Expo West design competition

Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie today announced that leading world architect Daniel Libeskind will chair a design competition at the former Andersonstown barracks site.

Mr Libeskind, an American architect, artist, and set designer will be lending his professional expertise to the design competition which will transform the former Andersonstown’s Police Station.

More info:

Friday, 19 February 2010

Wed 24th Feb @ PLACE: QUB ARCSOC Journal Launch

Click to enlarge

QUB ARCSOC Journal launch
Wed 24th Feb, 7pm

Next Wednesday, PLACE will host the launch of the QUB ARCSOC Student Journal of Architecture. The new publication explores the theme of Identity expressed in the studio and written projects of students in the School of Architecture in Queens University. The Journal has been compiled, edited, written and produced by QUB Architecture students with the support of the School of Architecture.

The aim of the journal is to give students a stronger sense of identity within the University and within the wider architectural community; particularly important in providing and strengthening a forum for peer learning, for cross-cultivation and for cross-communication across all years. At present there is a void in this area, with no facility to express and develop this common identity and inter-relationship. The journal will provide a platform with the intention of filling this void and become a fantastic forum, not just through reviewing work but also through its compilation throughout the year. What makes this publication unique is the central underpinning that the journal it is a publication for students by students from the cultivation of studio and written work, to its writing and to its publication.

The new journal showcases work from both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students and aims to create a platform within the school for a new dialogue amongst the students and the wider architectural community. Addressing the theme of Identity in the first issue of this journal defines, quite clearly, both it and its purpose. It is the first chapter of what will become a continuing story at Queen’s University, contributing to the architectural students’ lives a compendium of their collective work and aspirations.

Admission: Free
- Refreshments served
- Copies of the journal will be on sale on the evening for £4 (or £3 for ARCSOC members) and afterwards in the PLACE Bookshop
- All welcome!

‘Unprivileged Highs and Lows’ @ PS2

Opening: Monday, 22.February 2010, 6-8pm (with background sound radiation by Christian Cherene)

Refurbishment- what is going on in PS²: the floorboards ripped up, exposed rafters, sawdust, the usual mess if you have builders in.
At a closer look, the destruction happens quite orderly: the floor panels are carefully placed against the white walls, the floor layers are exposed in sections. The work of a specialist firm of building conservationist or archeologists?
Joanna Karolini, who works in film and installation, is the fourth artist in the series ‘sounding out space’, a multidisciplinary exploration of the 23sqm PS² space.
In ‘Unprivileged Highs and Lows’, she investigates with a historic and artistic curiosity, what’s underneath the floor of the art space.
She peels off the layers and uncovers materials placed upon each other, serving different functions and tastes of a building dating back to 1870.
‘I am particularly interested in the floor. It carries the heaviest but silent evidence of weight. Unseen and un-noticed, traces are left by artists, artworks and audiences using the gallery. It’s my canvas... I will re-negotiate the gallery’s own architecture and function, focusing mainly on the architecture of traces left by the cultural activities, on/in/under the floor.’ (J.Karolini)

These traces do not only excite your own imagination of people and the use of the space in the past, this site specific project exposes a material beauty which refers back to the current use of the space for art.
This is the 4th in the series of ‘sounding out space', a series of explorative projects around aspects of space (architectural, emotional, historical, practical…). The 23m² of project space with its public exposure to the street is the object of investigation with a wide range of multidisciplinary approaches; artists, musician, choreographer, a cat, interior designer, spiritualistic medium, refurbishment people, tenants... All projects are recorded and documented by Fiona Larkin.
Projects in the 'sounding out space' series:
(1) Matt Green: 'Present place', 2008
(2) Kathy Graham: 'Portraits', 2009
(3)Tobias Sternberg: 'Yourself from the outside', 2009

Opening times: Wed- Sat: 1 - 5pm
Late Night Art: 04 March, 6 - 9pm
Special site-entrance accompanied by the artist: Monday 8th and 15th March, 5.30 - 6.30pm
‘Unprivileged Highs and Lows’ continuous till 20 March 2010

More info: PS2 website

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

UAHS - Liam McCormick lecture - 11th March, 7.30pm

Info from the UAHS on their Liam McCormick lecture, 11th March at 7.30pm:
The modern movement in architecture came late to Ireland and while there were a few buildings of significance completed before the second world-war, the impact of international modernism was largely felt after the war - the work of Mies Van Der Rohe and Le Corbusier being of particular importance in this regard. The name that stands out as the central figure in the development of modern church architecture, not just in Ulster but in Ireland as a whole, is that of Liam McCormick. Over a period of four decades this gifted architect was responsible for an impressive series of outstanding churches, many of them were built in his own home county of Donegal. His most famous example is the RIAI Gold Medal-winning Church of St Aengus at Burt which was to bring him unprecedented acclaim and lead to his eventual international reputation. This lecture will examine the influence of le Corbusier in Ireland with a particular focus on the church architecture of Liam McCormick and the significance of a sense of place in his work.

Liam Kelly is a Professor of Irish Visual Culture at the School of Art and Design, University of Ulster, Belfast. He holds a BA (Hons.) degree in the History of European Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, and a Ph.D from Trinity College, Dublin. He is a writer and broadcaster on contemporary Irish and international art. His publications include Thinking Long - Contemporary Art in the North of Ireland; The City as Art (ed.) and The Disembodied Eye. He has also curated both solo and thematic exhibitions in Ireland, Australia, USA, France, Slovenia and Hong Kong.

This lecture will take place at the University of Ulster, Belfast (Art College) and is open to non-members. Lecture fee: £7.

More info: Contact the UAHS

QUB ARCSOC lecture - tonight!

Click the poster to enlarge.

"Why one thing not another?"

Lecture by Graham Bizley tonight, organised by QUB ARCSOC.

Room LG.024, David Keir building (directions)

Friday, 12 February 2010

"What's wrong with this place?"

Image (c) 2010 - S.Golden, L.McComish. Urban Research Belfast.

What’s Wrong with This Place?
Questioning and Exploring: Urban Research Belfast

Ongoing student activities and experiments, 15-18th Feb
Student Film and Photography exhibit, Adhoc Galleries, 15- 18th Feb
Launch of Empty Space exhibits, Haymarket Arcade 18th Feb

Main Project Contributors:
Saul Golden, Lecturer, University of Ulster, Department of Architecture, School of Architecture & Design, Belfast
Liam McComish, Lecturer, University of Ulster, Department of Visual Communications, School of Art & Design, Belfast
University of Ulster Architecture and Vis-Com students

In association with:
University of Ulster
PLACE: The Architecture and Built Environment Centre for Northern Ireland

“What’s Wrong with This Place?” aims to challenge preconceptions about Belfast’s neglected urban centre through visual and physical explorations by students in architecture and visual communication at the University of Ulster, Belfast. Since September 2009, students from both disciplines have used a variety of tools inside and outside of their classroom environment (films, photographs, map studies, models and field experiments) to study the area between Smithfield Market, Donegall Street, Royal Avenue, Millfield and Carrick Hill. This district has existed within the cultural shadow of city centre life for over 30 years, experiencing ongoing economic and physical loss.

The students have been asked to explore without prejudice, to ask questions, measure and observe in addition to undertaking small-scale experiments. The results are often surprisingly poignant and beautiful observations about the notion of place that move beyond the immediate surface to explore the people, spaces, history and culture of an area that once formed the heart of Belfast.

In this way the collaborative teaching and learning project, in association with PLACE, seeks ways to better engage students to participate with their wider community and the built environment; to test out the skills and tools used to educate architects and designers on understanding urban issues beyond the classroom.

Students will display an interpretive documentary film and photographs at Adhoc Galleries (off Kent Street) while continuing their experiments in other ‘empty city spaces’ from Smithfield to Donegall Street from 15th - 18th February 2010.

On Thursday evening, 18th February 2010 6-9pm, the project will culminate in the public opening of a new exhibition, installed in currently vacant shop units within Haymarket Arcade (between Royal Avenue and Gresham Street). The duration of the exhibit, curated by Saul Golden and Liam McComish, depends on the rates of vacancy and will change. The displays will remain available for public viewing during Arcade open hours.

As part of wider research the experiments and exhibition hope to draw attention to Belfast’s vital urban spaces, inviting questions and feedback on ways to re-think, re-assess and revive the art of urban conversation for a new generation.


Saul Golden is an architect and lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design BA (Hons) Architecture and MArch programmes. He has a number of published articles in professional journals focused on architecture and the value of public space in urban design.

Liam McComish is a lecturer and Course Director for the BDes Design for Visual Communication programme. He is experienced in design, education and research and has a number of publications in the area of typography, design perception and design methods.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Platform Arts: Station Project

Platform Arts last week launched the first in an ongoing series of exhibitions, installations and happenings in the former children's hospital and RUC Barracks on Queen Street, Belfast, to continue over the next two years.
‘Station’ is an experimental curatorial project organised by Platform Arts. It will commence in 2010 and run for two years. The premise of the project is to invite artists, writers, and curators etc to come and make work in or in response to the building.

The building itself is located on Queen Street, Belfast. It was built in 1878 as a children’s hospital, rumoured to be one of the first hospitals to be set up under Florence Nightingale’s model of nursing and run by her matrons. It was then turned into an RUC barracks from 1933 to 2000 when it was officially close down and sold. It was one of the oldest RUC barracks in the city and suffered a catalogue of attacks during the ‘Troubles’. It is a Grade One listed building and it is due to be renovated in 2013 and turned into a hotel and bar.

We have been granted access to this building for the next two years, where we hope artists will come and make work in the space or in response to it, leaving a trace of their activity behind thus creating a new layer of history to the building. All work will be documented and archived with the hope that the collection will go on to exhibition when the project comes to an end.

Platform Arts: Station Project

Monday, 8 February 2010

The New Topographics

Top: Massachusetts street, 1974 by Stephen Shore; above, the same scene 30 years later by Valery Denis (images via The Exposure Project)

Examining the impact and influence of the 'New Topographics', a US photography movement that cast a realist eye over sprawling American cities and industry.

Guardian: Beauty in the banal

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Call for Submissions - Integrated Arts Projects at Shankill and Beech Hall

Image above from the Shankill Wellbeing and Treatment Centre - Proposed Art Plan (Jan 10)

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust invite submissions for six creative opportunities arising from the Shankill and Beech Hall Wellbeing and Treatment Centres which will be completed in May 2011.

Submissions are welcome from artists with an interest in designing artworks for external entrances, courtyard areas and internal glazing and walls; this includes small and large scale areas suitable for work in metal, glass, ceramic, timber and lighting. Artists may wish to apply for opportunities in each building, appropriate to their practice.

The competition will have two stages. Stage one will require preliminary concept proposals. A panel will meet to select artists who, for a fee, will continue to stage two by submitting a more detailed proposal.

Artists brief and other information is contained in the links below, or you can download a pdf version.

The closing date for stage one proposals is: 4pm on Friday 12 March 2010.

Full details and how to submit proposals available here

Juhani Pallasmaa lecture at Queen's next Wednesday

Click the image to enlarge

QUB ArcSoc presents a lecture by Juhani Pallasmaa, 6pm, Wed 10th Feb, David Keir Building (LG 115)

Friday, 5 February 2010

Launch night: The Secret Laboratory

Thanks to everyone who came along to the launch of Notebooks And Narratives: The Secret Laboratory. Pictures below by Amberlea (give them a click to enlarge)

The covers come off


View along the cabinets

Niall O'Hare (left, exhibition design & build) and Paul Clarke (exhibition curator) take a last minute check of the installation

First visitors

The crowd builds...

...and builds

Paul gives an introduction to the exhibition to the visitors

PLACE thanks Paul, Niall, the UU team and all the architects whose work is on show for their hard work putting the exhibition together, Colm for his wizardry with electrics and Sara and Eimear, our volunteers, for making the launch night a success!

The exhibition runs until Sat March 27th. Pay us a visit at 40 Fountain Street!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

PLACE Director on advisory panel for British Pavillion at Venice 2010

The British Council has appointed muf architecture/art Llp as Artistic Directors of the British Pavilion for the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale.

muf architecture/art Llp is a collaborative practice with a UK and international track record of process driven work with physical and propositional outcomes. The British Council invited proposals that focused on collaboration, spatial experience, a relationship to the British Pavilion architecture and enabled adaptation or transformation. muf’s approach, Two Way Traffic, will make connections and enable knowledge exchange between Venice and Britain.

The 12th Venice Biennale of Architecture will be open to the public from 29th August to 21st November 2010. This year’s Biennale is under the directorship of Kasuyo Sejima, a leading exponent of contemporary architecture. Describing the rationale for her choice of theme, Sejima commented: `The idea is to help people relate to architecture, help architecture relate to people and help people relate to themselves.’

The UK’s international body for cultural relations, the British Council, has managed the British Pavilion since 1938. Designed by an Italian architect in 1887 as a tearoom to serve the Giardini di Castello, the building was extensively refurbished by the British Council in 1995 to mark La Biennale di Venezia’s centenary year.

This year’s Advisory Panel for the British Pavilion were Christopher Egret, Director, Studio Egret West; Kathryn Findlay, Director Ushida Findlay Architects; Pedro Gadanho, Professor at Faculty of Architecture, the University of Porto; Michael Hegarty, Director, PLACE; Sarah Ichioka, Director, Architecture Foundation (and Chair of panel); Kieran Long, and Vicky Richardson, Editor, Blueprint and forthcoming Director of Architecture, Design, Fashion, British Council.

- Venice Biennale 2010
- muf

Design and Dementia School

The design and dementia school will cover a range of design issues including effective commissioning, project management, designing the internal and external environment and lighting. The school will provide both theoretical and practical input over three days and will involve lectures, workshops and discussion groups. It will also include guidance on using the DSDC’s design audit tool as a reference text for the design process.

Visit the Dementia Centre NI website for more information and to download an application form.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Image via Gerry Ward on Flickr

PLACE and the West Belfast Parternship are holding consultations with the community on the site of the former Andersonstown Barracks, beginning next week.

Keep up to date on the process via the Twitter page, @AtownEXPOWest

New website for the process also coming soon!