Thursday, 31 May 2012

The sun going down on the Orpheus Building

Image copyright Ben Groves, 2012

We received this photo from Ben Groves, a student at University of Ulster. Ben writes:
The photo was from one of those unexpected moments. I was working late one evening in my studio on E floor of the Orpheus building on York Street. When I walked into the foyer, the sun was setting and it made me think how close I was to finishing my time at University. It seemed to be a poignant image as I was aware that the building's future was in doubt due to the planned redevelopment.
Have you photographed a favourite place, or captured a special architectural moment? Send your images to [email protected] to be featured here on the Blog.

And if you're really into photography and architecture - consider joining our Flickr Group: Northern Ireland's Best Places and Buildings, featuring the work of 101 members, and currently standing at over 1,700 photos.

Call for submissions: weePLACE exhibition cabinet

We are seeking proposals for exhibitions in our weePLACE exhibition cabinet.

weePLACE is our mini glazed exhibition cabinet at PLACE. Through an occasional open call (usually twice a year) we invite artists, photographers, architects and anyone with an interest in the built environment to submit work for public display for a one month slot.

We're seeking new exhibits from emerging and established artists, architects, youth and community groups, film-makers and more. Work can be in any medium. The theme of the work is open, but should be broadly related to architecture, urban design, public art and/or the built environment.

Closing date
15th June, 5pm

How to submit your proposal
Please download the full call for submissions for details [PDF, 67kb]

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

An Urban Feast at the Belfast Film Festival

Let me introduce myself, I'm Ailish Killilea, an urban designer who has been experiencing the benefits of PLACE through volunteer work for over the last year.

What has excited me most recently are the up and coming films PLACE has selected for the Belfast Film Festival over the next couple of weeks - films which I have been helping to curate.

First to take the screen will be Urbanized at the MAC theatre this Thursday 31st May at 7pm. Urbanized is a review of how urban design practice is responding to global forces driving city development. Commentary from Ricky Burdett explores the largely accelerating complexities of human circumstances that is unfolding within our lifetime. Opening introduction will be given by Mark Hackett, director of Forum for Alternative Belfast and designer of the MAC theatre.

Next to follow is The Pruitt-Igoe Myth at the the BFF Beanbag Cinema this Saturday. A story based on the decline of the city in St. Louis, Missouri after World War II. The film looks at the rapid downfall of the city, how the appeal for suburbanisation, an escape left cities idol to mischief hands. The Pruitt- Igoe Myth seeks to set the record straight, to examine the interests in Pruitt- Igoe’s creation, the rumours and the stigma, to implode the myth. Declan Hill, director of Forum for Alternative Belfast will set the scene for the film with an opening introduction.

To finish, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces will be shown in the appropriate outdoor setting of Commercial Court, behind The Dark Horse. This film is based on the studies of William "Holly" Whyte, Urbanist and Journalist. Through time-lapse observation of how people interact with one another and with public areas, the film shows surprising revelations on how people actually use the urban landscape - like people watching, but on a whole new level. A great film to experience in these settings, perhaps completing your evening of Late Night Art in Belfast on the 7th.

These films are an urban feast and a wonderful contribution to the diverse programme of the Belfast Film Festival. 

See you at the popcorn stand.  

Urbanized Film Trailer

Urbanized, Thursday 31st May 2012, 7pm, MAC.
Tickets £6.50

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth Film Trailer

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, Saturday 2nd June 2012, 5pm, BFF Beanbag Cinema.
Tickets £5

Film Clip from The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, Thursday 7th June 2012, 9:30 pm, Commercial Court.
Tickets £2

Tickets available online and at The Belfast Film Festival box office.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Photoblog: CowParade at the Balmoral Show, 18th May

Photos from the CowParade, the biggest public art show in the world - which appeared at the Balmoral Show on Friday 18th May, and mooves on to location across NI from June-September. All photos courtesy of David Bunting, Images-NI.

Photo by David Bunting, Images-NI.

Photo by David Bunting, Images-NI.

Photo by David Bunting, Images-NI.

Photo by David Bunting, Images-NI.

More cows after the jump.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

PLACE Internships - Summer 2012

PLACE is a small but busy Charity working to promote quality in architecture and urban design for all of Northern Ireland. Our Internship Programme offers students, graduates and other interested people the opportunity to be a part of the PLACE team.

Photo by Robin Cordiner.

Current vacancies:
Urban Design Summer School: Assisting PLACE Staff with the planning, promotion and delivery of our 5-day Urban Design Summer School. (Applicants should be available for the dates of the Summer School, 6th-10th August.)

Research: Helping prepare background research for various PLACE documents, articles and projects.

Marketing and Communications: You will work with PLACE Staff on all aspects of marketing and communications, including public relations, press releases and the use of online social media and digital media to promote PLACE and facilitate discussion with the general public.

PLACE Internships are voluntary, for a minimum 2 month period between mid-June and September 2012 and can be full or part time (suggested 3 days per week). Out-of-pocket expenses (for spending like public transport, car parking and lunch) will be covered.

Closing date for applications: No later than 5pm on Friday 8th June 2012.

Interns will be based at PLACE in Belfast City Centre, and there may be occasional travel to other parts of Northern Ireland. Interns will be supported by PLACE Staff. There may be some elements of training provided but we welcome applicants with the knowledge and initiative to work on their own.


How to apply
Please email your CV and outline what you would bring to the team and what you expect to gain from the position, to [email protected] no later than 5pm on Friday 8th June 2012. No applications received after this time can be considered. Please title your email with ‘PLACE Internship’ and the position you are applying for.

Selection will be made on the basis of your ability to contribute to the organisation and your commitment to gaining a valuable and meaningful work experience. Internships are particularly suited to students and graduates in areas of relevance to the built environment or the particular roles outlined above. No particular qualifications are necessary.

We aim to reply to all applicants by email, whether successful or not. Shortlisted applicants may be invited to interview for their position.

If you have any queries regarding the internships or the application process, please contact us at PLACE: phone 028 9023 2524 or email [email protected]

Find out more about PLACE on our website:

Friday, 18 May 2012

somewhereto_ champion call-out

somewhereto_ champion call-out
Deadline 15th June

PLACE and somewhereto_ NI are currently recruiting project champions to assist in the delivery of the somewhereto_ project across Northern Ireland. somewhereto_ is a movement to liberate underused, disused and empty spaces in the UK and get everyone thinking creatively about their communities. Run by Livity, in media partnership with Channel 4 Education, somewhereto_ is funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.

A somewhereto_ project champion will be an enthusiastic facilitator with a passion for youth community arts, and will be comfortable taking a leadership role in group settings. Experience is preferable but not essential and you will ideally be between 16 and 25 years old. Training and guidance will be provided by PLACE. Your out of pocket expenses will be covered.

This role presents an opportunity to develop new skills, meet new people, and contribute to the growing somewhereto_ movement across the UK.

To apply to be a somewhereto_ champion: Send a CV and outline why you'd be a good champion to Rebekah McCabe at [email protected] or call 028 90232524 no later than 5pm on 15th June.

Check out to see the projects that teams across the UK have been working on.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Richard Stout residency at Belfast Exposed

Photography by Richard Stout. Courtesy Belfast Exposed.

Belfast Exposed are delighted to host photographer Richard Stout as an artist in residence at Belfast Exposed on 22, 23, 24th May in collaboration with the North Eastern Photography Network. Richard is an artist member of the ‘Garden Shed’ project, an arts initiative set up by Gateshead Council and now jointly run in collaboration with The National Trust. Based in a small woodcutter’s hut (The Woodcutter Studio) in the historic grounds of the Gibside Estate, Richard has recently embarked on a long term exploration of Gibside and the population of workers, volunteers and visitors who use the site.

Richard wants to use his NI Residency to develop links (comparative or contrasting) to his continuing project at Gibside in order to encourage dialogue and exchange of ideas, themes and projects. During this initial visit Richard hopes to initiate contacts and conversations with artists, photographers and communities interested in his area of work. He is also interested in building relationships which will help him to develop his initial ideas and lines of enquiry and also to test/evaluate his working methods and visual approach.

Richard will give a presentation on his work in the Exchange Space in Belfast Exposed at 3pm on 23rd May. This talk is free but please RSVP to [email protected] to reserve a place.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

CQAF Event: Oscar Niemeyer: A Vida e um Sopro (Life is a Brief Moment) | Tues 8 May 6pm

As part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival the film "A Vida e um Sopro" (Life is a Brief Moment) will be screened at the Dark Horse. A panel discussion chaired by Forum for Alternative Belfast will follow the film. (Supported by the British Council). 

“From a single stroke architecture is born; and when it is a beautiful and resonating stroke, it can reach, if well developed, the superior status of a work of art. It is not the right angle which attracts me - hard, inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is that curved line, which is sensual and free. The kind of curve which I find in the mountains of my country, in the woman I love, in the clouds and on the waves of the sea. The entire universe is made of curves. Einstein’s universe is curved.” 
Oscar Niemeyer

At the age of 104 Oscar Niemeyer is the last of the great architects of his generation. His buildings tend towards the formal and monumental, sometimes at odds with his socialist principles. A Vida e um sopro is a documentary about his life and work. In the film Niemeyer talks candidly about how his most celebrated projects were conceived - amongst them Brasília, the French Communist Party headquarters and Mondadori Publishers in Milan. He expresses his views on politics, friends, women and Brazil and talks passionately about the need for innovation and creativity, which he considers vital in architecture today.
Venue: The Dark Horse
Date: Tues 8 May
Time: 6pm
Cost: £4

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Listen to the 'Architecture: But Not As We Know It' Conference

This is a repost from the 'The World of Architecture at Queen's' Blog...

Seven potential futures for architecture and architects, which future do you want to have?

This event presented seven invited speakers’ perspectives on the future for architects and architecture, on how architects, their institutions, relationships, skills and ways of working should evolve to address the challenges and opportunities of the next five years.

Audio files of this event are available from the links below:


Simon Foxell
Simon is principal of The Architect’s Practice in North London. He has sat on RIBA Council and has been Chair of the RIBA Small Practice Committee. Simon is the editor, author or co-author of a number of reports and publications looking at the future of practice and the profession, including “The professionals choice: The future of the built environment professions” (2003) and “RIBA Good Practice Guide: Starting a Practice”, 2006.

Brendan Kilpatrick
Brendan is originally from Pomeroy, Co Tyrone and after completing his architectural education in Liverpool he began to practice in London. Brendan now leads the largest design group within PRP Architects, London, which specialises in large-scale urban regeneration and masterplanning. PRP Architects have partnered with Northern Ireland based practices to undertake some joint projects.

Peter Trebilcock
Peter is a chartered architect and design director for Balfour Beatty Northern, a major contractor and client based in Manchester. He was a member of RIBA National Council 1997-2003 and has won various design competitions and judged a number of design awards. Practices he has appointed for projects include those with RIBA Awards and having been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.

David Saxby
David is co-founder of Architecture 00:/, a London based strategy & design practice. The practice is driven by an aspiration to create genuinely sustainable places founded on evidenced social, economic, and environmental principles. They work with a broad spectrum of clients and collaborators to new service delivery infrastructures for healthcare, learning, and creative enterprise, alongside a number of ultra-low-energy private houses.

Discussion (15mins)

Willie Watt
Willie is a partner of the Nicholl Russell Studios located in Dundee, Scotland. He is a fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects of Scotland and is the convenor of the RIAS Practice Committee. He spoke at the recent Scottish Government National Procurement Conference in Glasgow. His interest in procurement matters has led him to sit on the Royal Institute of British Architect’s Procurement Reform Group.

Michelle Fagan
Michelle Fagan graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology in 1990. After practicing in Germany she returned to Dublin in 1996 to work with ABK Architects and set up FKL Architects with Paul Kelly and Gary Lysaght in 1998. FKL is award winning, design orientated and focused on environmental issues and research through the medium of practice. Michelle is a contributor to the Urban Reports symposium and publication at the ETH Zurich and is President of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland from 2012-14.

Neil Baxter
Neil became secretary and treasurer of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in 2008. Neil was previously principal of his own architectural and interpretation consultancy and Development Director of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust. He has lectured on urbanism, written for numerous newspapers and journals and is a frequent media spokesman on the subject of architecture and design.

Discussion Part Two

Closing remarks (Michael McGarry)

Flash Mob for Public Art

Sinclair Building and where we will be making our mark.
Credit: Ailish Killilea.

Ever think there could be more public art in Belfast City? What kind of public art would you like to see?

This Thursday, 3rd May 2012, is a chance for the public to create a piece of public art!

Come together and place a piece on a collaborative work of temporary public art at the beautiful Art Deco Sinclair Building (location maps below).

The Plan: 

  • Bring along anything from a colourful ribbon to paper origami (nothing heavy/perishable/sharp/dangerous - you get the drift!) to the Sinclair Building at 13:10.
  • Place your contribution on the lamp post (we will provide adhesive at the scene) as part of the larger piece of public art.
  • Generate awareness for public art and public space.
The Theme:   What public art means to you.

The idea behind the flash mob is to show the support behind the issue within a short time frame in order to be most effective. You can sign up on our invite or just show up on the day. 

Something else to be checked out on your lunch break/city ramble is Open Source Belfast who will be carrying out events from the Sinclair Building over the next fortnight. For events check out their website.

Spread the word and see you there, this Thursday @ 13:10 in front of the Sinclair Building! 

Location of the Sinclair Building.
Credit: Google image edited by Ailish Killilea.
Public space in front of the Sinclair Building - The 'Spot'.
Credit: Google image edited by Ailish Killilea.