Thursday, 27 October 2011

Internships in Restoration of Cultural Heritage

If you enjoyed the exhibition 'Revival' held at PLACE and are interested in conservation and restoration of cultural heritage, there are a number of international institutions providing internships to graduates in architecture, archaeology, art history, urban planning and engineering.

ICCROM is an intergovernmental organization, based in Rome, dedicated to the conservation of cultural heritage that aims at improving the quality of conservation practice as well as raising awareness about the importance of preserving cultural heritage. ICCROM hosts up to four interns per calendar year, each of the internships lasting normally for a period of two to six months and held in Italy.

Photo by PhillipC on

ICOMOS, the International Council of Monuments and Sites, works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. It is a network of experts that benefits from the interdisciplinary exchange of its members, among which are architects, historians,archaeologists, art historians, geographers, anthropologists,engineers and town planners.
The UNESCO World heritage centre, known mainly for the compilation of the 'World Heritage List', provides very exciting internship opportunities, around the world.
Find out more :

Photo by Archer10 on

Carrickfergus Castle Conference: Friday 28 October 2011

Carrickfergus Castle: Earls, Gunners & Tourists is a conference organised by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Castle Studies Group and Carrickfergus Borough Council. The conference will explore the Castle's past and future and look at the need for a full review of the state of the Castle's research, conservation and presentation. The aim of the conference is to inform the local community and the wider academic one of the plans for this, concentrating on the Great Tower, which needs urgent physical conservation.

Carrickfergus Castle was first built at the end of the 12th century (probably started in 1177-9) and was continuously occupied from then until 1927 when the army handed it over to the Northern Ireland Government as an Ancient Monument. It was built on a rocky promontory projecting into the sea with three wards; the inner one is dominated by a Great Tower; the outer by the double-towered gatehouse.

Location: Carrickfergus Town Hall - Jubilee Hall
Date: Friday 28 October 2011

Programme Schedule:

Registration & Reception
09:40 Welcome Address to Conference by Mayor Alderman Jim McClurg
09:50 Terence Reeves-Smyth (NIEA) - Lecture ‘Carrickfergus Great Tower and its Roof - Problems and Opportunities’
10:30 Pamela Marshall ‘Great Towers in Context’
11:10 Tea & Coffee
11:40 John Goodall (Country Life) - ‘Evidence and Preconception: Restoring and Presenting Great Towers’
12:20 Kathryn Roberts ‘Castle Conservation in Practice - Cheptow and Harlech’
13:00 Lunch (a light lunch is provided)
14:00 Con Manning (Dept. Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht) - ‘The Great Tower in Ireland’
14:40 Dermot MacRandal (NIEA) - ‘Practicalities of Creating Replica Historic Roofs’
15:20 Tea & Coffee
15:50 Tom NcNeill - ‘Carrickfergus Castle. The Evidence and A Way Forward’
16:30 -17.30 Discussion

The conference organisers are asking for a donation for attendance of £8 (includes a light lunch) This can be paid at the door on the way into the Conference. However, as space is limited, and in order to assist with catering arrangements, it is recommended that you inform Anthony Kirby of your attendance. This can be done by giving your name, telephone number or email address. E-Mail: [email protected]

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Impact 2012 Awards Open for Entries

Click the flyer above to enlarge.

The Impact 2012 Awards celebrate the achievements of young people in helping to improve our economy, our society and our environment.

Have you, or has someone you know, made an impact that deserves to be recognised? If so, entry is free and this is your chance to showcase work that you’re proud of.

Following the success of Impact 2010, there are now several new categories with 14 awards up for grabs this year from enterprise and transport, culture and sport, to our built environment.

The awards are open to everyone under 25 years old who is involved in a relevant project that deserves recognition at a prestigious awards event.

Find out more:

Peripheries Conference - Opening Lecture - 27th Oct

Click to enlarge the flyer.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Call for Entries: European Prize for Urban Public Spaces 2012

The European Prize for Urban Public Space 2012 call for entries is now open.

This award, founded in 2000, aims to recognise and promote the creation and improvement of public space, which is understood as a clear indicator of the civic and collective health. The Prize is a biennial initiative of the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona ( and is currently co-organised by the Architektur Zentrum Wien (Vienna), The Architecture Foundation (London), the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (Paris), the Nederlands Architectuurinsistuut (Rotterdam), the Museum of Finnish Architecture (Helsinki) and the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (Frankfurt).

The inscription period for the 2012 Prize is opened from 17 October 2011 to 19 January 2012. All information may be found at The prize giving ceremony is held on 29 June 2012.

To view previous prize winners visit this link.

Further information can be obtained by emailing: [email protected]

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Irish Planning Institute Conference, 16th November 2011

Flyer for the IPI's upcoming half-day seminar - click to enlarge.

Charting Belfast Met's voyage to Titanic Quarter

Belfast Metropolitan College (Belfast Met) is the largest college of further and higher education in Northern Ireland. It dates back to the early 1900s - the Municipal Technical Institute opened in September 1906. This article charts the progress of Belfast Met from its College Square East Campus to its Titanic Quarter Campus.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

University of Ulster students in Derry~Londonderry

PLACE hosted a research review today for Year 5 University of Ulster Architecture students. The students, led by lecturers Saul Golden and Emily Smyth, presented mapping investigations about the city to architects Mary Kerrigan and Michael Hegarty, and University of Ulster urban design PhD student Deirdre Greaney.

The entrance to Artillery Chambers on Artillery Street in Derry, which PLACE is temporarily programming with support from Caldwell & Robinson Solicitors.

The students from University of Ulster have been investigating various sites around Derry City in preparation for their Year 5 design project.

The students produced a complex map and model of the city as part of their initial research, on display at today's review.

Our thanks are due to Caldwell & Robinson for their kind support and use of their premises, and to the Playhouse Theatre for use of their equipment.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Call for expressions of interest: Architects-in-Practice working with Architects-in-Education

Click to enlarge
PLACE is pleased to announce a new partnership with the University of Ulster and The Higher Education Academy, aimed at encouraging crossovers between architects in practice and those working in universities. A call for expressions of interest is ongoing - closing date 7th Nov 2011. Click the flyer above for more details.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Reconnecting the City: Design Workshop for Harbour Square in Derry ~ Londonderry

On 9th June 2011 PLACE, in association with ILEX, University of Ulster, DoE, DRD, DSD, Derry City Council and Translink, delivered a one-day design workshop to collaboratively explore options for improving the area around Harbour Square in Derry~Londonderry. Harbour Square is a major civic space where the interest and influence of all stakeholders overlap. The intention of the workshop was to provide a forum for the main stakeholders to work together to discuss, share ideas and possibly create temporary interventions to develop, protect and enhance this place.

Sketches from the Harbour Square design workshop. Photo by Gary Potter

At the event Aideen McGinley (ILEX) commented: "This model of collaborative thinking can very quickly change the city and set the pace leading into 2013”

The event was a huge success in collaborative thinking and within a few weeks some interventions had already taken place as a direct result of discussions held at the workshop. Unnecessary road signage was removed and a new pathway linking to Guildhall Street from the Peace Bridge was implemented.

A new path connects Guildhall Street with the crossing point
to the Peace Bridge were the cars are parked in this photo.
Photo by Gary Potter.

Going forward the key stakeholders will continue to work together to prepare Derry for the City of Culture year and build upon the lasting benefits that 2013 will provide for the city.

Monday, 10 October 2011

UAHS Hard Hat Tour: September 2011 - Part 2 of 2 (McMaster Street)

On Wednesday 5 October we blogged about the recent Ulster Architectural Heritage Society’s (UAHS) hard had tour of Templemore Baths. Following the tour of the Baths the UAHS in association with Hearth Housing led the group around the McMaster Street area to explore the ongoing restoration work.

McMaster Street (30 Sept 2011). Photo by Gary Potter.

Hearth Housing Association was established in 1978 and now manages around 100 houses and flats across Northern Ireland. According to Marcus Patton of Hearth the organization aims to restore without ‘gentrification’. The organization can access housing funds and operate at lower market values to restore buildings that may otherwise be unviable to a commercial developer. On Friday 30th September one of Hearth’s four staff members (of which two are architects), Siobhan Brown led the UAHS tour around the old terraced ship workers housing which is now a protected Conservation Area.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Peripheries Conference

A message from Professor Ruth Morrow on the Peripheries conference taking place at Queen's from 27th-29th of October.

Queen's University Belfast is proud to host Peripheries, the 8th annual Architectural Humanities Research Association Conference 27-29 October 2011. The international event will include papers and short films presented by delegates from Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Australia and New Zealand. We are delighted to announce that Professor M Christine Boyer, Princeton University will act as our Wrap-Up Chair for the conference; she joins a host of architects, poets, writers, historians and academics who will also act as keynote speakers:

- Professor Ciaran Carson, Poet, Queen's University Belfast
- Professor Kim Dovey, University of Melbourne
- Mary Arnold-Forster, Dualchas Architects, Scotland
- Professor Murray Fraser, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
- Dr. Paul Larmour, Queen's University Belfast
- Professor Ruth Morrow, Queen's University Belfast
- Dr. William Roulston, Ulster Historical Foundation
- Tarla MacGabhann, MacGabhann Architects, Donegal
- Glenn Patterson, author, Belfast
- Shih-fu Peng, heneghan.peng.architects, Dublin

We are also pleased that a parallel event, a symposium on the Irish Kevin Kieran Award for architectural design and research will be held on Saturday 29 October 2011. Also interwoven amongst the papers and keynotes is an architecturally-themed film festival as part of the Belfast Festival at Queen's.

Please see our website for details on the event and on types of registration available. We look forward to welcoming you in Belfast this month for three exciting days of debate, discussion and exchange.

Queen's University Belfast is offering a special rate for RSUA, RIAI and AAI members to Peripheries.

The special rate of £120 will include access to the Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October 2011 paper sessions, including the parallel Kevin Kieran Award Symposium.  Please note that this rate only applies to those who are not presenting papers and does not include receptions, films, or copy of the AHRA 2010 Critiques Series book.

Find out more about the conference: QUB - Peripheries 2011 Conference - 27th-29th October

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

UAHS Hard Hat Tour: September 2011 - Part 1 of 2 (Templemore Baths)

On Friday 30th September 2011 the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS) held their first in a series of hard hat tours geared towards professionals. Using the Built Heritage at Risk register as a resource to explore listed buildings the UAHS hope to highlight the hundreds of buildings at risk across Northern Ireland. 

Click here to learn more
about the NI Built Heritage at Risk Register.

The register is compiled and managed by the UAHS in partnership with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). Speaking at the introduction to the hard hat tour Jody Wylie, UAHS’s Heritage Projects Officer, explained that there are over 500 buildings at risk in Northern Ireland and 14% are government owned. He hoped that these tours would bring attention onto these buildings and highlight that we have many buildings in public ownership that we can take direct action to save and put back into active use. 

Templemore Baths. Photo by Gary Potter.

The first UAHS hard hat tour explored both the Templemore Baths and the McMaster Street terraced houses in East Belfast. Beginning at the Templemore Baths Rita Harkin (UAHS Research Officer), Jody Wylie, David Elliott (Chair of the Templemore Users Trust) and Gary Proctor (Chair of the Templemore Aquatic Sports Club) provided the background information for the tour.

Plaque at the entrance to Templemore Baths. Photo by Gary Potter.

Templemore Baths is a Victorian red brick building on Templemore Avenue in East Belfast. It was opened in January 1893 and now has the only functioning Victorian swimming pool in Northern Ireland. The Baths came about due to the flourishing industries of Victorian Belfast which included the ship yard, rope works and other engineering works. The workers terraced homes in East Belfast were small and often lacked washing facilities and many of the men would end their working day covered in oil or coal. The Baths were of huge importance to industrial East Belfast and the main purpose of the facility according to the Belfast Corporation was to improve the health, hygiene and cleanliness of the areas population by providing washing facilities that were not available in the, mainly rented, terraced housing. Templemore Baths was one of four facilities commissioned by the Belfast Corporation at the time - one for each corner of Belfast. Templemore was constructed between 1891 - 1893 to a design by Robert Watt and at a cost of £21,660.

Third Class Baths. Photo by Gary Potter

There was only one tap - Cold! The attendant
would provide six inches of hot water and after
that you were responsible for the cold water tap!

Throughout the 20th Century the Baths became more recreation focused. By the 1980’s the now Belfast City Council began to develop new modern recreational facilities and the decision was taken in 1983 to close the Templemore Baths. A group of campaigners began to lobby for the retention of the Baths and in 1989 the Templemore Users Trust accepted responsibility for the facility. In 1987 the building became a B1 listed building (HB26/08/003) but around 50% of the building still remains unused.

Photo by Gary Potter.

In 1994, with the help of EU funding, the old public slipper baths area was converted into a Fitness Suite which provides some income to the Trust. 

Fitness Suite. Photo by Gary Potter.

The Trust has also restored one of the buildings two swimming pools which is well used by the community and the local swimming club.

Swimming Pool. There would have been a balcony around this space.
Photo by Gary Potter.

In 2006, with financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Belfast City Council, the Trust commissioned a Conservation Management Plan. This document established the significance of the Baths, identified threats to its continuing survival and set out policies whereby its significance could be retained.

Inside Templemore Baths. Photo by Gary Potter.

Despite the hard work of the Trust in keeping the Baths functioning it is clear that there is a lot of work ahead and much of the building is in a poor state. The former third class baths area is yet to be restored but with the help of the UAHS the Trust is now seeking to establish a Building Preservation Trust which would provide charitable status to access funds and take the building forward.

Third Class Baths. Photo by Gary Potter.

The courtyard area is currently under-utilized but provides fantastic opportunities as part of any future restoration and development of the Baths...

Courtyard area. Photo by Gary Potter.

The former swimming pool - at one time one of the largest in Ireland - lies abandoned awaiting a new lease of life...

Dis-used swimming pool. Photo by Gary Potter.

The boiler area... In the 21st century with new energy solutions this area could be converted into a more active space...

Boiler area. Photo by Gary Potter.

The tour takes in the more recent extension to the Templemore Baths which is now in a particularly bad state - Hard hats only in this section of the building... 

Photo by Gary Potter.

The tour finished up at the rear of the Templemore Baths with the former manager's house on the right...

Rear of Templemore Baths. Photo by Gary Potter.

"Templemore Baths are iconic in East Belfast" claimed Cllr Robin Newton MLA and "represent an historic legacy for the community" explained Gary Proctor (Chair of the Templemore Aquatics Sports Club). Cllr Robin Newton MLA also commented that the building has "enjoyed a great past" and "hopefully by working together in partnership Templemore Bath's future can be secured and the building can enjoy a great future".

Templemore Baths. Photo by Gary Potter.

Templemore Baths. Photo by Gary Potter.

Part two of the UAHS Hard Hat Tour Report will explore the McMaster Street terraces being regenerated by Hearth Housing...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

PLACE Pocket Park at Culture Night Belfast 2011

This year in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, as part of Culture Night, PLACE creatively adapted several on street parking spaces into a small ‘Pocket Park’ inspired by the international Park(ing) Day

'Pocket Park' - part of Culture Night Belfast 2011.

The ‘Pocket Park’ aimed to highlight the lack of quality urban open space within Belfast, green and otherwise and to raise an awareness of the spatial opportunity cost that occurs when private cars are brought into the city centre.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

"Mind the Gap" - a response to the FAB Summer School 2011 by John Graham

Architect John Graham gives his take on the Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School 2011, which ran during August at Queen's. For background, see the series of PLACE reports on the event by Gary Potter.

3 years on from the enthusiastic beginnings the Summer School continues to face challenges those in possession of the brief seem too entangled in their own field to face into. The Summer school brought around this time sponsors in the form of the actual bodies tasked with collating and obtaining outcomes. The DOE, DRD, BCC, SBP, CRA, SMA and lobbyists,quangos were aboard for part of this 'third party' journey.

The thesis was alleged to be given by South Belfast Partnership but had many authors in essence. The failure to create consensus forming pathways, such as a functioning democracy, a city council with a proper function, urban, rural and transport integrated planning and strategies signed off on, all lead into a predicament where the good intentions of external groups have to take the lead into areas which have habitually proprietorial and aggressively static and fearful of vision and collaboration.