Thursday, 27 June 2013

An Introduction to working in the Built Heritage Sector Training

CITB-ConstructionSkills NI in conjunction with Belfast Metropolitan College, South Eastern Regional College and South West College have announced the delivery of an introductory 30 hour training programme: Understanding Repair and Maintenance of Traditional pre-1919 Buildings.

CITB-ConstructionSkills NI through the Heritage Lottery Funded project Sustaining Traditional Building Skills in NI seek to develop the capacity of the construction industry labour force to engage in the conservation, maintenance and repair of the provinces pre-1919 building stock. It is estimated that 16% of Northern Irelands total building stock is in this category.

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

PLACE at the launch of the Architecture and Built Environment Centre Network (ABECN)

On June 18th Saul Golden represented PLACE at the launch of the Architecture and Built Environment Centre Network (the ABECN), a collective of fourteen centres from around the UK. The occasion was more just a celebratory launch, as representatives from ABECN were joined in a Roundtable discussion by a cross section of participants from government agencies, developers and multi-disciplinary professions. Architecture Minister Ed Vaizey officially launched the Network in the morning before the roundtable examined how to improve design quality across all areas of the built environment. Topics ranged from the influence of government policy and economic factors to the value and efficacy of design reviews on project quality and delivery, and focused in particular on how to collectively improve the quality of residential projects.

Representatives of UK Architecture and Built Environment Centres at the ABECN launch, 18 June 2013 in London. The event was launched by Ed Vaizey MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. PLACE was represented by Board Member Saul Golden (6th from left).

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Carrickfergus Castle Partnership - Have Your Say Day | Sat 29 June

Following the announcement this week of a new two year 'Innovation Trial' between the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Carrickfergus Borough Council regarding the ongoing management of Carrickfergus Castle a 'Have Your Say Day' is planned on Saturday 29 June. The day aims to officially celebrate the partnership as well as launch a public consultation exercise designed to allow local citizens to provide their input on how best the new partnership could benefit the entire borough of Carrickfergus.

© Copyright Stewart and licensed for reuse under
this Creative Commons Licence.

The two year initiative is the first of its kind for any major heritage site in Northern Ireland and will see a much greater role played by the local council in the management, running and promotion of Carrickfergus Castle. During the two year period the strategy and development of the Castle will be overseen by a steering group with equal representation from NIEA and Carrickfergus Borough Council as well as a representative from Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

The partnership aims to increase the level of local input into the management, operation and marketing of the Castle with a view to increasing the local sense of community involvement in the site as well as maximising the potential tourist and economic benefit to the town as a whole.

Launch of The Seeing Project learning resource from Walled City Partnership

Image via
Congratulations to Mary Kerrigan and her colleagues at the Walled City Partnership on yesterday's launch of The Seeing Project, their new learning resource for primary-level school children. The project was launched by the Mayor of Derry Martin Reilly alongside Mary McLaughlin, Chair of the Walled City Partnership and Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Culture Company and Cliodhna Mulhern

The project encourages young children to "voice their feelings, opinions and dreams for themselves and their place". It's based on appreciative inquiry, the "purposeful search for the best in people, in situations and in places". Its initial resources have been developed around the city of Derry, but Mary Kerrigan noted at the launch that the lesson plans can be applied for learning anywhere across the world.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Archaeology Open Day | Thurs 20 June, 12.30 - 4.30pm | Castle Lug, Greenisland

On Thursday 20th June, Northern Archaeological Consultancy and Irish Archaeological Research will be hosting an archaeology open day at Castle Lug, Shore Road, Greenisland with Graham Construction.

Between 12.30 and 4.30pm artefacts will be on display and there will be opportunities to talk to archaeologists, see the remians of Castle Lug and get stuck in at the mini excavation trenches.

For more information visit

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PLACE Prize for Best UnderGrad Dissertation with an Irish topic at the UU Architecture & Design End of Year Show

At the University of Ulster's Architecture & Design End of Year Show on Friday 7th June PLACE were delighted to present Chris McAvoy with a prize recognising his dissertation entitled 'Numinous Experience: The Atmosphere of the Sacred'. The work provided a critical study of Liam McCormick's St. Aengus church. Utilizing Rudolf Otto's theory described in the book 'The Idea of the Holy' Chris was able to convincingly analyse notions of a sacred space instilled in the visitor when entering McCormick's church. The paper excelled in combining a theoretical approach with a critical analysis of a building whilst at the same time testing the validity of the theory.

Credit: Gary Quigg

PLACE would also like to take this opportunity to mention the other dissertations considered. The work ranged from investigations into the development and success of the Maggie Cancer Caring Centres (Caroline Hanson), a study of how Georgian Terraces survived and worked for modern Dublin (Rachel Heaney), a detailed account of the life and work of Architect Sir Charles Lanyon (Rachel Lennon) and consideration of the influence of Andrea Palladio in 18th-century Irish architecture (Jilian Reid).

Credit: Gary Quigg

PLACE Prize for the Best Belfast Urban Project at UU End of Year Show

At the University of Ulster Architecture & Design End of Year Show on Friday 7th June PLACE were delighted to present Shaun Doherty with the Prize for the Best Belfast Urban Project. 

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Shaun explains his winning project - 'A literary triptych':

"Before I started the main thesis project for my MArch, a number of smaller projects where carried out including the 'Terra Nullius', which was about exploring and making observations of an area without a program or use in mind.

To define my Terra Nullius, I explored the link between the docklands and the city hall. Historically both sectors were essential to the development of the city.
The docklands are significant as it created the birth of Belfast city from exporting and the ship building industry, while the city hall, which was once the site of the white linen hall, created the industry that the city thrived on. The city hall is now the nucleus of Belfast while the Docklands are currently undergoing immense cultural regeneration.

This link over time has disappeared; therefore I found it interesting to investigate this relationship though my Terra Nullius. To explore this area, I reincorporated the literary device from my journey project back into the city to help emphasize the layers of the territory. I was using the device to provoke thought on how we perceive different environments, through our individual experiences and interpretations."

Credit: Shaun Doherty

Shaun's proposal for a European Literature Centre within land bound by High Street, Pottinger's Entry, Church Lane and Ann Street creates an urban triptych dedicated to the spoken word, the written word and the encounter with the book. "Woven into the fabric of the oldest part of the city, the buildings create a literary journey where one experiences the cultures of European literature in turn finding the ability to express their own."

Credit: Shaun Doherty

The fabric of built heritage - an urban study of Belfast City Centre | Wed 19 June, 12.30 - Black Box, Hill Street

"Through the study of streets, arcades, the high street and industrial buildings in Belfast City Centre, Erl Johnston, Sara Love, Eoin McKenna and Nicola Woods shed light on the significance of these spaces and structures for the livelihood of the city, while outlining the value of reuse and temporary use of important pieces of the urban fabric."

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Volunteering opportunity this Summer: Urban Design Academy 2013

PLACE is a small but busy Charity working for better places to live, work and play across Northern Ireland. Our Volunteer Programme offers people of all ages the opportunity to be a part of the PLACE team.

The Volunteer Team motivating our students at last year's Urban Design Academy. Photo by Ollie Watts.
We have a new opportunity for interested people to join the Urban Design Academy Volunteer Team. We expect the team will be made up of 5 volunteers. 

From 5-9 August this year, we're holding our 2nd Annual Urban Design Academy in Bangor. Young people aged 14-19 will be immersed in 5 days of architecture, urban design, public art, building visits, sketching, photography, history and more.

We're looking for volunteers to get involved in the planning, marketing and delivery of the 2013 Academy. Starting in early July, this volunteer post will give you skills in event management, education and learning activities, marketing, audience development and more.

This role is voluntary, for a 2-month period between July and September 2013, 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.

This volunteering role is particularly suited to students and graduates in built environment or education subjects (e.g. Architecture, Planning, Urban Design). However, no particular qualifications are necessary. We can only accept applications for this role from people aged 21 or over.

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Thursday 11 July 2013

Volunteers will be based at PLACE in Belfast City Centre, and there may be occasional travel to other parts of Northern Ireland, particularly to Bangor where the Academy will take place. Volunteers will be supported by PLACE Staff. Some training will be provided but we welcome applicants with the knowledge and initiative to work on their own.


How to apply
Please email a short CV (1 or 2 sides of A4) and a statement answering the following two questions:

1. What would you bring to the team? (Max 300 words)
2. What do you hope to achieve through the position? (Max 300 words)

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.

Send your application to [email protected] no later than 5pm on Thursday 11 July 2013. No applications received after this time can be considered. Please title your email with ‘Academy Volunteer’.

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

If selected, volunteers will be asked to undertake an Access NI check.

If you have any queries regarding the volunteer roles 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:

PLACE Urban Design Academy 2013 | Mon 5 - Fri 9 August 2013 | Bangor Town Centre

Back for the 2nd year! The Urban Design Academy is our event of the Summer for all those aged 14-19 who aspire to create a better, brighter city, or are simply intrigued by the unique combination of art and science that is architecture.

Join PLACE Built Environment Centre for 5 days spent creatively discovering architecture & design, planning & public art through building visits, sketching, photography, history and more.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

QUB Architecture End of Year Show | Wed 19 June, 5.30pm

The Queen's University Architecture End of Year Show celebrating the work of the 2012-13 academic year takes place Wednesday 19th June, 5.30pm at the Old Science Library, Chlorine Gardens, Belfast, BT9 5DJ.

Professor Greg Keeffe will open the evening with a speech followed by announcements of prizes. There will be viewing of the exhibition until 10pm.

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The exhibition will continue until the 29th June (Mon - Sat, 10am - 5pm / Thursday late night to 8pm)

For more information email [email protected], phone 028 9097 4198 or visit

The End of Year Show is supported by Haldane Fisher, MB Architectural and Metal Technology Ltd.

NIEA Craft Works Depot Open Day | Sat 15 June | Moira

This Saturday 15th June from 10.30am - 4pm the NIEA Craft Works Depot will open to the public to view the NIEA specialist conservation crafts team at work. There will be stone carving, conservation joinery, children's activities and tours of the works yard.

Credit: NIEA

More information: Visit, email [email protected] or phone 028 9054 3030.

Directions: Take junction 9 (Moira) turn off M1, head towards Moira village. At bottom of main street, take right at signpost for Moira train station. Works depot is housed in old railway buildings on other side of tracks at Moira railway station. Park in yard to left. (NIEA Moira Depot 7a Station Road, Moira, Antrim, BT67 0NE).

Thursday, 6 June 2013

somewhereto_re:store Bangor | Information evening - Thurs 13 June, 4 - 6pm

somewhereto_ invites you to an infomation evening - on 13 June - to find out more about the 6-week campaign launching in Bangor in July 2013.

The networking event, running from 4- 6pm, will offer a valuable opportunity to network and engage with like-minded people to talk about a campaign with the potential to radically transform the Bangor high street.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Belfast Civic Trust - Summer Boat Trip - 20 June

Find out more about the work of the Civic Trust:
The Summer Boat Trip of the Belfast Civic Trust will be on Thursday 20 June 2013 at 7.00pm starting from Queens Quay, Belfast (opposite the Custom House).

All welcome. Price: £40 per person.

The Boat Trip will be followed by a meal at Chopin Restaurant, St Anne's Square (two-course meal included).

Places limited to 35 people.

How to book

Send £20 per person to


In addition reserve place by telephoning 02892-682483 or emailing [email protected]

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

PLACE Urban Design Charrette | Saturday 8 June 2013

The PLACE Urban Design Charette is a multi-disciplinary approach to developing innovative and creative responses to challenging urban design issues. The emphasis is on working as a team to find best-practice solutions to real-world problems. This year participants will develop schemes in response to the unique challenges of a site, revealed on the day, and will be judged by an expert panel with wide-ranging experience.

Urban Design Charrette 2012

Monday, 3 June 2013

Architecture in 3 Minutes - the films

On 23 May, Dublin film-maker Paddy Cahill (Liberty Hall, Cycling with...) joined us at the Ulster Hall for a day-long workshop during which participants created a short film about Belfast trade union icon Transport House.

Here are the results...

Team 1 was made up of  David Bunting, Mirko Marcato, Lise McGreevy & Andrew Molloy.

Team 2 was Emmett O'Mahony, Paul Stewart & Sean McKeown.

All edits were done "in-camera" meaning the teams had to plan their shots very carefully to make the most of the 3 minutes allocated - and no post-production software was used.

Update 17/06/13: Emmett O'Mahony and Paul Stewart got in touch last week to say they'd developed their work further. The latest version of their film now includes narration and some stunning new footage they shot of the building.

Our thanks to Jan Carson at the Ulster Hall who made this event possible, Mervyn Smyth for a guided tour of the Belfast Exposed photography archives (a great resource for community film-makers) and of course Paddy Cahill for making the journey up from Dublin to provide his expertise on the day.