Monday, 22 June 2015

Mapping North Street - 27 - 28 August 2015

Mapping North Street is an interdisciplinary workshop, taking place in the Old Museum Building, College Square North on 27th & 28th August 2015.

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Streets are key elements of urban space; they are in essence public spaces and connect diverse areas of the city, weaving the urban fabric. Our understanding of cities has grown in complexity in the last half century. How do we analyse street space? How do we communicate this analysis? Can we use a language that different disciplines will understand? How can we use these methods to change / improve street spaces?

This workshop will explore different approaches to the analysis of streets as public spaces. We invite students, academics and professionals of architecture, planning, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, film, media, arts and any other discipline interested in the analysis of public space.

Participants will develop a series of layers of analysis including but not limited to: mapping, drawings, diagrams, photographs, interviews, archive work, soundscapes and more.

A universal solution is not sought for the use, design and management of streets, but a culturally specific array of possibilities that our streets could potentially have. North Street is an ideal case study to consider, for it is in the core of the city, it connects very different areas, and above all it is loaded with meaning and potential.

Join two days of exploration!

The workshop is free of charge. More details will be published in August.

Please RSVP before August 20 to Dr Agustina Martire - [email protected]

Where have all the numbers gone?

Guest post by Peter Holland...

A few weeks ago I was looking for an office on Ann Street in Belfast. It was a warm, pleasant day and I strolled to one end of the pedestrianized street. Not finding the premises I turned and walked in the other direction. Reaching the end of the street I turned again and once more retraced my steps, by now, increasingly hot and irritable. There were no numbers on any of the doors, not a single one.

Ann Street is an extreme example but in the environs of Belfast city centre perhaps only one in six business premises displays a street door number. I have asked in a couple of shops why they don’t have a number on their doors and the reply is a shrug of the shoulders and a “don’t know”.

The week later I was handed a flyer for a business on Botanic Avenue. It had the name of the business, the street (Botanic Avenue) and the door number. But sure enough on the actual business premises there was no door number and none on those neighbouring it.

I’m baffled. Internet shopping is so easy that anything impeding on-street retailing has an impact. When businesses advertise they use their street and door numbers. I haven’t seen anyone write the address as, “we’re somewhere on Royal Avenue - good luck finding it”. Some of the ‘no-number premises’ have recently been refitted, so someone had to say ‘don’t bother’ when asked whether they wanted the number to go on the door or the signage.

This is more than a problem for individual premises. Google Streetview can locate business premises if door numbers are visible. Tourists, visitors or just those in an unfamiliar part of the city can orientate themselves by the direction door numbers ascend or descend.

There is a law, 'The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1995'. Section 11 mandates the procedures for naming streets and marking door numbers. It is even a summary offence if a door isn’t marked with a number - that is, after the council has asked for it to be done, which it hasn’t.

Belfast City Council replied to my query, writing that, ‘if it caused confusion, it would investigate’. Belfast Chamber of Commerce and Belfast City Centre Management have yet to reply.

Has the Belfast on-street retailer given up trying to fight Internet shopping? Is the lack of door numbers a manifestation of the lack of direction of the wider political process? Perhaps it’s a rejection of regimentation? Or is it just local shops for local people and Belfast settling into the role of the largest village in Ireland? Answers please on a postcard to… oh never mind.

Peter Holland

Friday, 19 June 2015

Queen Street & Wellington Place, Belfast - Public Engagement Event - Mon 22 June, 12 - 8pm

A public engagement event will take place on Monday 22 June 2015, 12noon - 8pm at 29 Wellington Place (former Parsons and Parsons), Belfast BT1 6GS. 

The event is an early opportunity to learn about, and share your views on, a proposal for student accommodation at lands within the site bounded by 24 - 30 College Street, 41-49 Queen Street (formerly known as the Athletic Stores) and 29 Wellington Place (former Parsons & Parsons), Belfast. The proposal includes a mix of cluster beds with shared facilities and studios; ground floor uses including support facilities associated with the student accommodation and a bar; restaurant and cafe.

Further information relating to the proposals may be obtained from: Turley, Hamilton House, 3 Joy Street, Belfast BT2 8LE on behalf of Lacuna WJ Limited (Lacuna Developments & Watkin Jones Group).

If you wish to make comments on the proposals you may do so at the above event and / or in writing to Turley, Hamilton House, 3 Joy Street, Belfast BT2 8LE and no later than Friday 21 August 2015.

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Monday, 15 June 2015

#StrandTogether - Thursday 18 June, 5.30pm at the Strand Arts Centre

Join the Strand Arts Centre for the launch of…


A new awareness campaign to celebrate the Strand’s contribution to East Belfast and to secure its long-term future.
Strand Arts Centre
156 Holywood Road, Belfast
Screen 2
Thursday 18 June 2015
5.30 - 6.30pm 
[Tea / coffee on arrival at 5.30pm. Presentation in Screen 2 begins 5.45pm.]

RSVP by e-mailing [email protected]

The Strand in East Belfast has been providing entertainment, creating employment and boosting the local economy since 1935.

Due to celebrate its 80th anniversary in December, the building’s short-term survival was secured by establishing Strand Arts Centre as a not-for-profit charity in 2013 that enhances the arts and cultural offer in East Belfast.
The Strand attracts audiences of over 40,000 annually with a vibrant mix of new and classic screenings, live theatre and music events, creative workshops, performing arts classes and more.

The launch of the #StrandTogether campaign will celebrate some of the Strand’s recent achievements, share its plans for the future and let you know how to get involved.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

QUB Architecture End of Year Exhibition - 18 - 26 June 2015

The School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast, is pleased to announce the opening of its annual exhibition of student work on Thursday 18 June, 6pm. 

 The exhibition is a celebration of the talent, creativity and innovation of Architecture students. Models and drawings of their designs will be on show in the studios at the David Keir Building, Stranmillis Road. Work from Civil Engineering and Planning will also be on display.

QUB warmly invite you to join this celebration:
  • 6pm, speeches in lecture room 0G.024, David Keir Building
  • Followed by a reception and exhibition from 7pm, spread across floors 1, 2 and 3 of the David Keir Building
  • Refreshments will be served

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will run from 19 - 26 June from 1pm - 5 pm with a late opening on Thursday 25 June until 8pm.

Please contact [email protected] for further information.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Created in Belfast: Annual Student Exhibition at Ulster University - 6 - 13 June 2015

Ulster University's Annual Student Exhibition takes place from 6th - 13 June 2015 on Level E (MArch) / Level F (BA Arch, Interior, Product & Furniture) at the Belfast Campus, York Street.

The exhibition will open on Friday 5th June, 6pm with Belfast School of Architecture speeches and prizes in the BA Architecture studio at 6.30pm.

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The exhibition includes MArch Level I urban housing investigations in the Smithfield+Union neighbourhood, adjacent to the future Ulster University Belfast Campus.

The students surveyed existing buildings to prepare a detailed mapping document and area model (with support from PLACE), in addition to carrying out international precedent studies of urban housing and preparing individual proposals for mixed-use living/working/playing - options that include but are not exclusive to student living.

It is hoped that this work will be continued over the coming year together with key partners, with a view to opening further conversations about the future of housing and living in the Smithfield+Union area.

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Monday, 1 June 2015

PLACE Urban Design Academy 2015 | Derry~Londonderry

PLACE is looking for volunteers for its 4th annual Urban Design Academy, taking place this year in Derry~Londonderry from 3-7 August.

We need 4-5 committed individuals with a strong background in the built environment disciplines and a keen interest in education and research.  You will work together as a team in the two-months leading up to the Academy, meeting approximately every two weeks, and will be present for the full week of 3-7 August.

It's full-on, but an amazing experience, especially if you plan to have a career in architecture or urban design, as previous volunteers can testify.

Belfast: Toward a City Without Walls - Thurs 11 June, 6pm - 9pm

Colourpoint Books invite you to the launch of Belfast: Toward a City Without Walls at The Red Barn Gallery. There will be an exhibition of photographs by Frankie Quinn and book sales and signings.

Thursday 11 June 2015, 6pm - 9pm at The Red Barn Gallery, 43b Rosemary Street, Belfast.

For more information or to RSVP please email [email protected]

The book can also be purchased from or from local bookshops.