Thursday, 28 July 2011

International recognition of urbanism in Belfast and Derry

PLACE Chair Bill Morrison gives a presentation on Belfast City Centre at the Belfast Urban Promo conference in Venice in October 2010. The conference was the genesis for Belfast receiving this year's Urbanistica Prize.

Belfast receives Urbanistica Prize 2011 (updated 5th August 2011)
Belfast has been awarded a prestigious Urbanistica Prize for 2011 in the category of "Balance of Interests". The award came after judges attended the Belfast Urban Promo conference and exhibition (produced by ARD Architects and supported by PLACE) in November 2010.

Mayor of Belfast Cllr Niall Ó Donnghaile commended the work of those involved in the Urban Promo event, and in the wider regeneration work of the city:
“Sometimes it takes an outside viewpoint to realise just how far Belfast has come in the last 15 years. There have been so many positive achievements made against a backdrop of change, and often at times when confidence has been low as Belfast emerged from a city of conflict.
"Being from a new generation of politicians I believe we have an excellent opportunity to build on past successes and work more effectively together to provide even more regeneration for the city as a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland welcomed the announcement of the award of the Urbanistica prise and commented:

“I am delighted that the significant regeneration programme that has been ongoing in Belfast for the past 15 years has been recognised by the award of the "Urbanistica" prize following the Urban Promo Conference in Venice last October. This award recognises the significant programme of regeneration undertaken in Belfast and how the balanced approach of Public Sector interventions and Private Sector investment created a transformed urban environment in the city.
"The award follows on from Victoria Square being awarded the “Urban Regeneration Initiative of the Year” title at the MAPIC awards in 2008 and is a fitting tribute to the collaborative approach taken to the regeneration of the city by my Department, Belfast City Council and our private sector partners. I would also like to commend PLACE for their outstanding work in coordinating the Belfast in Venice Exhibition at the conference and thank Urban Promo and Urbanistica for the award and for the enthusiasm they have shown towards Belfast’s Regeneration story”.

The prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Bologna this November.

Read more:
Belfast City Council - News
- Urban Promo website (in Italian)

Derry~Londonderry nominated for Great Town Award 2012
Meanwhile, Derry~Londonderry has been shortlisted for the Academy of Urbanism's Great Town Award 2012. "Derry beat off competition from very strong contenders in the ‘Great Town’ category," said Michael Hegarty, PLACE Director. "When added to City of Culture, the nomination of Culturlann for the Stirling Prize and our spectacular new Peace Bridge, people beyond here are now starting to recognise what Derry people have always known - Derry is a Great Town!" The Derry Journal has more.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Free Tours of Belfast Metropolitan College's College Square East Building (Wed 27 - Fri 29 July)

By Gary Potter

To mark the "end of an era", as Belfast Metropolitan College moves out of the Old Technical College located in College Square East, the college has organised tours of the building with local historian Henry V Bell. The free tours run at 12pm tomorrow (Wednesday), Thursday and Friday and will feature the magnificent Central Hall, the buildings many stained glass windows, the fully working steam engine, manufactured by Musgraves of Belfast in the early 20th Century, and much more. No booking is necessary and everyone is welcome.

Last week I went along to one of the tours led by local historian Henry V Bell...

Upon entering the grand Portland Limestone building a member of the college team provided a warm welcome and directed us up the main staircase to the Great Hall. Here the tour began with a presentation by Henry to set the context for the 30+ attendees.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Culturlann Ui Chanain in Derry ~ Londonderry shortlisted for Stirling Prize

Well done to Culturlann Ui Chanain in Derry, which has been nominated for the Stirling Prize - a first for a Northern Ireland building. Culturlann Ui Chanain is an Irish language centre teaching traditional music, dance and language. The building is located on a landlocked site on Great James Street in the city. At a cost of £4m, the cultural space opened in September 2010 and was designed by O'Donnell and Tuomey Architects.

Culturlann. Photo by Gary Potter.

The building has already been recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects in May and last year won an Architectural Association of Ireland award. It is now in the shortlist for the Stirling Prize with six other UK buildings: see images of all six at the Guardian. The winning finalist will be announced in October this year - PLACE will keep you updated on how Culturlann Ui Chanain gets on.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Strabane Public Art/Architectural Commission

Info below from Donegal County Council and Strabane District Council on a commission for a new Public Art/Architectural commission...

Strabane Library; image courtesy Donegal County Council

Major Iconic Public Art  / Architectural Commission
Donegal County Council and Strabane District Council 
Urban and Village Renewal Project

The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) has awarded Grant Aid of €995,000 under Priority 2, Theme 1: Public Sector Collaboration to the Urban & Village Renewal Project to be delivered over 40 months, starting on 1st September 2010 and completing on 31st December 2013.

Project Partners Involved:
The Project Promoter is the North West Region Cross Border Group (the “NWRCBG”).
The Lead Implementing Council is Donegal County Council.

The Partner Council is Strabane District Council.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Forum for Alternative Belfast's 2011 Summer School - 15 - 20 August 2011

Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School Poster.
Click to Expand.

The Forum for Alternative Belfast is holding its third annual summer school this year at the Queens University of Belfast between the 15th and 20th of August 2011. This year the Forum will consider inner South Belfast and its connections to the city centre. Areas of study will include: Street Design, Housing, Green Issues, Transport, Statistics and Play.

To apply you are asked to submit a short cv of your preferred study area listed above to [email protected] by Thursday 21 July.

Waged £50 | unwaged & students £25
A maximum of 35 places are available.