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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Building on Tradition: The Agenda for Sustainable Design (Part 2 of 2)

Report by Gary Potter.

On Monday 27th June 2011 PLACE, The Irish Planning Institute and Ballymoney Borough Council held a joint event entitled "Building on Tradition: The Agenda for Sustainable Design". The PLACE Blog yesterday reported on Townscape Heritage Officer Ronan O’Donnell's experience as part of the Walled City Partnership's Townscape Heritage Initiative in Derry~Londonderry. Today, in part two, we will highlight the main features of the Building on Tradition - Sustainable Design Guide for the Northern Ireland Countryside which acts as supplementary guidance to PPS21, as outlined by Paul McTernan (SLR Consulting).


Paul McTernan explains the draft PPS21
Supplementary Design Guidance.

Part 2: Framing the new PPS21 Design Guidance
Paul McTernan from SLR Consulting presented the PPS21 Design Guide and provided a brief overview of the main features on Monday in Ballymoney. Paul is now Technical Director of SLR based in the international firms Belfast office. Paul has over 24 years’ planning experience and has made over 300 public enquiry appearances throughout his career which has involved work in both the public and private sector.

Draft PPS21 Supplementary Design Guidance.

Download Paul’s talk (PDF, 5.6mb): right-click and save here.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Building on Tradition: The Agenda for Sustainable Design (Part 1 of 2)

Report by Gary Potter.

On Monday 27th June 2011 PLACE, The Irish Planning Institute and Ballymoney Borough Council held a joint event entitled "Building on Tradition: The Agenda for Sustainable Design". The event was held at the former Ballymoney Courthouse which was designed by Charles Lanyon and completed in 1838. After lying vacant the Ballymoney Reformed Presbyterian Congregation refurbished the building to provide a meeting place for the town. Providing for up to 90 people in the main hall the venue was perfectly suited for the sold out event.

Liz Johnston and Ronan O'Donnell at yesterday's half-day conference. Image via placeni on Flickr.

Mayor of Ballymoney, Cllr Ian Stevenson began the proceedings on Monday with a short introduction outlining the Council's commitment to the built environment, followed by Liz Johnston of Ballymoney Council who discussed the Council's work to bring Townscape Heritage Initiative funding to Ballymoney.

Download the Council's presentation (PDF, 475kb): right-click and save here.

Today, we focus on Townscape Heritage Officer Ronan O’Donnell's experience as part of the Walled City Partnership's Townscape Heritage Initiative in Derry~Londonderry. The second part will highlight the main features of Building on Tradition - Sustainable Design Guide for the Northern Ireland Countryside which acts as supplementary guidance to PPS21, as outlined by Paul McTernan (SLR Consulting) on Monday.

Part I: Building on Tradition: Townscape Heritage Initiative
Townscape Heritage Officer Ronan O’Donnell introduced the Walled City Partnership and explained how the Townscape Heritage Initiative is benefiting Derry~Londonderry.

Ronan O'Donnell discusses Derry's Townscape Heritage Initiative. Via placeni on Flickr.

Download Ronan's talk (PDF, 1.1mb): right-click and save here.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Heritage Revisited Lunchtime Seminar - Wed 22 June 2011

PLACE and Adapt NI’s lunch time seminar on Wednesday 22 June 2011 highlighted the importance of universal accessibility and design for all. The hour long event showcased architecture in which accessibility provided social inclusion for marginalised groups - particularly people with disabilities and focused on how we can allow equality and inclusion without detracting from the quality of the original.

Caroline Shiels introducing the seminar. Photo by Gary Potter

Friday, 17 June 2011

QUB SPACE: End of year show



28th June - 5th July. Click the flyer above to enlarge.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Sterile Environment at Catalyst Arts until 23rd June

Work by Eoin McGinn

Work by Keith Winter

Work by Sinead Breathnach-Cashell
Sterile Environment is ongoing at Catalyst Arts until 23rd June.


This art and architecture crossover exhibition explores the city of the past, present and future. Exploring the vitality, heritage and character of old and new Belfast. What is the city becoming? Are we protecting heritage adequately? Are we encouraging sustainable design and quality architecture?

Find out more on the PLACE website.

Passive House Seminar in Newtownards - 21st June


Click the flyer above to enlarge.

SELB Job Vacancy - Year out architecture student

Click the flyer to enlarge.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

York Street Interchange - Blog 2 of 2

PLACE Intern Gary Potter reports on Forum for Alternative Belfast's 'Six Links' proposal for the York Street Interchange.

‘The Six Links’ is the result of Forum for Alternative Belfast’s (FAB) second summer school during August 2010. During the summer school Roads Service presented the options discussed in “York Street Interchange Blog 1 of 1” to the students. The options propose that a new York Street Interchange would connect the Westlink, M2 and M3 through a series of flyovers and underpasses. FAB were initially shocked at the potential devastating impact this would have for North Belfast which would be effectively severed from the rest of the city. They were also concerned with the potential for heavy lorries to be passing through the area at a height of 18 - 20 metres. FAB were not necessarily opposed to a roads scheme, but wanted to ensure that the scheme did not further divide the city and that the maximum potential was realised from what Mark Hackett describes as an “urban design opportunity”.

Forum for Alternative Belfast's 'Six Links'.

Mark Hackett worked with the postgraduate summer school students from the University of Ulster to analyse the Roads Service proposals and seek opportunities to improve the design. Roads Service option C, with modifications, was selected as FAB’s recommended option for York Street Interchange. The project is a reality they say, so we must work with it to improve it. With this objective the summer school quickly identified that the new York Street Interchange could have huge potential in addressing the current blight of the area. At present the routes are “bleak, traffic dominated uninhabited zones … but what if these streets were to be inhabited?” ask FAB. It is FAB’s belief that this key infrastructure project must allow, not hinder future development.

Monday, 6 June 2011

York Street Interchange - Blog 1 of 2

PLACE Intern Gary Potter reports on proposals for the York Street Interchange.

The York Street Interchange will be well known to anyone who drives through Belfast. It is the point at which three of our busiest roads, the M2, M3 and Westlink converge to the North of the city centre. Currently the junction accounts for around 100,000 traffic movements per day and DRD Roads Service believe that a solution to the chronic over capacity must be found. With that in mind, Roads Service appointed URS Scott Wilson as Technical Advisors to identify the options for improving this complex set of junctions. 

Credit: DRD Roads Service

As part of the process URS Scott Wilson compiled an interesting short history of the Belfast Urban Motorway Network. Before we continue to explore the current York Street Interchange proposal it may be worthwhile pausing for a moment to explain how the current Belfast urban road network has developed. The following is from the URS Scott Wilson York Street Interchange Preliminary Options Report Vol 1:


Belfast can trace the development of its arterial Trunk Road network back to the 1930s. By then the rapid development of urban motorised traffic was forcing planners and engineers to examine the introduction of major roads into and around the city centre.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

A New PLACE Launch Day

Our exciting new exhibition displaying the creative and innovative buildings designed by University of Ulster architecture students for a new PLACE launches at 6pm tonight!

For their coursework this semester at University of Ulster, first year architecture students were set the challenge of designing a new headquarters for a mystery client. Having analysed sites across Belfast, and researched the city's urban and cultural variety, we at PLACE were revealed as the client. The high quality work undertaken by this young group of students is showcased at PLACE from 2nd - 11th June 2011.

'A New PLACE' exhibition. Photo by Gary Potter.

The PLACE walls are full with exciting proposals for infill sites across Belfast city centre. Come along after work today and have a look at the fascinating, high quality plans and 3D models and meet the students behind the ideas.

The official launch for "A New PLACE" tonight at 6pm! Everyone welcome.

Where: PLACE, 40 Fountain Street, Belfast (Beside Boots)
When: 6pm - 8pm, Thursday 2 June



Wednesday, 1 June 2011