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Showing posts with label Blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blog. Show all posts

Friday, 16 May 2014

"My project to improve neighbourhoods and help break the cycle of homelessness"

Paul Loughran, second from left, runs the Regenerate NI project.
The first post on our new somewhereto_ NI blog comes from Paul Loughran, a 21-year-old student at Queen's University, whose project Regenerate NI seeks to improve neighbourhoods and tackle homelessness.

somewhereto_ is a UK-wide, Big Lottery funded project that helps young people aged 16-25 to access underused or vacant spaces. PLACE is the Regional Delivery Partner for the project in Northern Ireland.

Why the new blog? We see it as a place to profile and share the things we care about across Northern Ireland, from projects that interest us to emerging entrepreneurs, artists, performers, and leaders that we want the world to know about. We will also feature journalism, short stories, and reviews authored by the brightest young talent in Northern Ireland.

If you want to write for the blog, or you know of something you think should be featured on it, let us know by emailing [email protected]

Find out more: somewhereto_ NI blog

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2012 Highlights on the PLACE Blog

2012 was yet another busy year for the PLACE Blog with so many highlights to chose from.  Here are just a few of the posts that caught our followers attention during 2012:

PLACE site visit to the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre in early 2012.

Connecting Places Series: Bicycling Belfast
- " In a country where 65% of all trips taken are under 5 miles in distance, and in a city where up to 70% of inhabitants in some inner city areas do not have access to a car, can we really say that cycling should have no significant future in Belfast?"
- Aaron Coulter curated a series of articles exploring cycling in Belfast with the aim of generating critical debate. He certainly achieved that! Twitter was abuzz with activity during this series and it even caught the attention of the Dublin Mayor Andrew Montague - a cycling enthusiast himself. 

Creating a Giant Experience
- "The Giant’s Causeway now has an architecturally stunning and sustainable venue that combines impressive design, innovation, precision and craftsmanship to create a building that sits (quite literally) within the beautiful north Antrim landscape."
- Gary Potter detailed the lengthy planning and design process, and documented the challenges of delivering a "world class visitor attraction" and "architectural masterpiece" at the Giant's Causeway. This blog post also documented the PLACE site visit to the new Causeway Centre a few months before completion.

Titanic: An Emerging Urban Quarter
- "Queen’s Island is a fascinating man made peninsula with a titanic history stretching back to the mid nineteenth century. The land, formed by spoil from excavating the River Lagan later became the site of one of the greatest shipyards in the world, and now in the 21st century possibly a new urban quarter for Belfast."
- As Titanic took over Belfast early in 2012 Gary Potter opened this blog post in 1613 and traveled through an absorbing near 400-year voyage to 2001 and the beginnings of the modern Titanic Quarter.
The Olympic Torch on the North Coast
- "...great snaps of the Olympic Flame among some of the iconic scenery of the north coast... [and]...some of the architectural sights of the area."
- As the Olympic Torch travelled around Northern Ireland our photo-blogger David Bunting captured the flame at the picturesque north Antrim coast.

Ireland's First Motorway Turns 50
- "When it opened at 6am on 10 July 1962 it was celebrated as a futuristic super-highway designed to facilitate fast, modern travel in an era when cars were in the ascendancy."
- Local road enthusiast Wesley Johnston made a guest appearance on the PLACE Blog to mark the 50th anniversary of the M1 Motorway.
- http://placeni.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/irelands-first-motorway-turns-50-today.html

What I learned from the FAB Summer School 2012
- "What is clear to me is the need for a comprehensive city plan that looks at Belfast as a whole. Where does Belfast wants to be in 50 years? There seems to be much potential, but sadly no collective vision. Only after the vision is clear can challenges posed in different areas be properly dealt with."
- Anna Skoura reported on the Forum for Alternative Belfast's "Re-stitching the city" Summer School held at Belfast City Hall and shared her thoughts on the week.

PLACE Urban Design Summer School Series
- "Of course we've had fun - memories of three teenagers acting out The Sydney Opera House in architectural charades will never leave me - but we've done some hard work too. We've looked at public art and real planning issues as well as architecture, and we've done a lot of drawing and writing."
- Gary Potter documented each of the five days of the PLACE Urban Design Summer School. The week long event for 14 - 20 years olds explored architecture, design, public art, sketching, photography, urban history and more! The week offered the 27 young people registered a chance to learn about the built environment through workshops, tours and more!

A Review of Chris Ware's 'Building Stories'
- "The medium of the comic book has long been derided as a medium for children, the ‘nerd,’ or the intellectually impaired.... A new epic graphic novel by Chris Ware stands in direct opposition to this."
- Andrew Molloy provided an excellent review of Chris Ware's new book earlier in the year as PLACE prepared to launch the Urban Library Series. 

City Shapers: Dr Callie Persic
- "I really believe in Belfast. I believe in the greatness of Belfast. I would like to see Belfast thrive and be its own thing and not become just another city that you could find anywhere. My vision for Belfast is to have a better connected city in every way - that people feel connected to each other and the city and that there is a better sense of collective ownership."
- Ailish Killilea interviewed Callie, who works for the West Belfast Partnership Board, as part of PLACE's City Shapers series in which we meet the people making a difference to our built environment.

What to do with an Architecture Degree
- "Those who have completed a degree in architecture owe it to themselves to reassess their career decisions."
- Emma Campbell blogged about the opportunities for Architecture graduates outside of traditional Architecture and highlighted the many skills that graduates can apply to their design-related careers.

Cities as Living Labs
- "As cities and other urban environments quickly become the home of the majority of the human population the potential for Living Labs to be the ground for innovation grows."
- Tiago Picão explained the European Living Labs initiative and highlighted the significance for the built environment.

Defining Architecture... So Far
- "It is an entity of controversy and unity; people are divided and brought together through the built environment that is architecture."
- Eve Russell attempted to offer a definition of Architecture and explored the journey that architects, clients, people and buildings take.

The Past in the Present: The Legacy of the Cathedral Quarter
- "It is this distinctive character that attracts new public and private investment every year, with adrive to support the cultural quarter's engaging beauty and vitality."
Ailish Killilea and Anna Skoura explored some of the recognisable buildings of the Cathedral Quarter and attempted to create debate around issues of conservation and heritage in our built environment.

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We hope you've enjoyed following the blog during 2012. We'll be posting again very shortly and hope to produce even more exciting new content during 2013. 

If you would like to get involved with the PLACE Blog during 2013 contact Gary on 028 9023 2524 or email [email protected]

Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011 Highlights on the PLACE Blog

2011 has been a busy year for us on the PLACE Blog. Here are a few of our highlights:

A tour of Belfast's new MAC Theatre during September's Culture Night. Photo by Gary Potter.


Planning for the environment
"Land use planning is about more than simply promoting the orderly development of land. This should not be the end objective, but just one means of achieving something much more wholesome and holistic. Our planning should guide us towards a more balanced society where natural resources are protected and climate change is a key consideration in all decisions."
- Back in February, environmental planning expert Clive Mellon explained how to plan for the environment and sustainable development
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-place-clive-mellon.html

Visiting the new Titanic Signature Building
"Once inside the building the sheer scale of the structure hits you. The internal atrium of the £73m structure will host the longest escalator in Ireland when opened next year."
- Gary Potter on the PLACE site visit to the Titanic Signature Building in April
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/04/place-site-visit-to-titanic-belfast.html

The story of Broadcasting House
"The Corporation looked seriously at a vacant site in Donegall Square, to the east of the City Hall, but eventually decided it needed a location in ‘a less pretentious quarter’ with ample room for expansion."
- Andrew Colman, former Head of News and Current Affairs at BBC NI, gave us a history of BBC Broadcasting House in Belfast to mark its 70th anniversary in May
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-place-andrew-coleman-bbc-ni.html

How to improve Belfast's River Banks
"Soft green landscaping, on-street parking, and a reduction in the number of traffic lanes were also suggested by participants as ways to encourage more use of the area. One team suggested a floating pontoon connecting the Obel to the Odyssey - the space could be adapted for events throughout the year."
- The PLACE CQ Charrette in May considered ways to improve the area next to the River Lagan in the City Centre
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-concepts-to-improve-belfasts-river.html

How to create positive change in rural design
"The PPS21 guidance aims to bring a sense of ownership to design and suggests that there are better ways to execute projects to avoid the flood of large, out of proportion houses with no connection to the landscape that have appeared in recent years. However the guidance must refrain from being over prescriptive or becoming too presumptuous. The purpose, as Paul McTernan explained, is not to create pastiche, but rather, 'to educate, inform and inspire' and 'positively nourish a change in aspirations and ambitions'."
- The new PPS21 Guidance on new building in the countryside was discussed at our Building on Tradition roadshow event in Ballymoney in June
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/06/building-on-tradition-agenda-for_29.html

Reducing street clutter
"Streets and roads make up around three-quarters of all public space - their design, appearance, and the way they function have a huge impact on the quality of people’s lives."
- From Manual for Streets 2, cited by Gary Potter in his investigation of street clutter in July
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/07/reducing-street-clutter-creating-better.html

Rebuilding - again
"We actively unbuilt the city, and rebuilt it, at great public expense."
- Mark Hackett speaking at the Forum for Alternative Belfast's annual summer school in August
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/08/forum-for-alternative-belfast-2011_22.html

Visiting the new MAC Arts Centre
"The new MAC at 5,500 sq m is around eight times the size of the OMAC and will include two theatres, three major visual art galleries, a dance studio, education, workshop and rehearsal spaces, offices for resident arts groups as well as a resident artist and café and bar. It is anticipated that around 200,000 people will use these facilities every year which is sure to boost the local area which is already eagerly anticipating the development of the University of Ulster's City Campus around the York Street area."
- Gary Potter joined a hard hat tour of the MAC on Culture Night in September. The MAC is due to open in June 2012.
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/09/culture-night-belfast-2011.html

Craft and architecture
"It was interesting to understand how the very precise 3D modelling of the architecture practice worked alongside the cruder practice of boat building. Bending oak in a steam chamber is much more rough and ready than the millimetre perfect geometric design."
- Alan in Belfast reported on our Craftitecture event at PLACE, in which Merritt Bucholz of Bucholz McEvoy Architects discussed their collaboration with the Galway School of Boat Building
http://alaninbelfast.blogspot.com/2011/09/five-currachs-sailing-into-music.html

Charting a building's voyage
"The new Municipal Technical Institute was a grand, purpose-built, state of the art educational building. When it opened the building was one of the first in Belfast with electricity, and phones were fitted throughout. The building even had its own radio station for communications with ships and every room had a centrally controlled clock."
- Gary Potter gave an in-depth history of the past and present of the Belfast Met, from the City Centre to its new location in the Titanic Quarter
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/10/charting-belfast-mets-voyage-to-titanic.html

Thinking about public space
"It is clear that while Belfast has the capacity for major outdoor events in spaces like Writer's Square and Custom House Square, it is severely lacking in well-designed, responsive public space. Not enough attention is given to the spaces between buildings, activating them not only through one-off events mainly aimed at tourism, or pieces of commissioned public art that few appreciate, but with an urban experience centred around informal day-to-day activities. If we want people to move back to the heart of Belfast, generating this type of public realm is a vital component."
- Aaron Coulter in his new series on the blog Connecting Places, which aims to generate critical debate on the spaces, places and sustainable transport systems of Northern Ireland
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/11/connecting-places-why-occupy-writers.html


New uses for old buildings
"I think the former Carlisle Memorial Church should become the Great Hall of the new university campus that is forecast for Belfast by the University of Ulster. I would like to see the campus embracing and defining the cultural corridor that we have spoken about for over 12 years in Belfast. "
Arthur Acheson commenting on a post in our new blog series The Past in the Present, which explores how the historic urban character of a city can be part of a dynamic and continually evolving contemporary society
http://placeni.blogspot.com/2011/11/past-in-present-adaptive-church-re-use.html

***

We hope you've enjoyed following the blog this year as much as we've enjoyed producing it. We'll be back in early January with more - in the meantime, Happy New Year from all at PLACE!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Follow the PLACE blog by Email

You can now follow the PLACE Blog by email so you don't miss out on the exciting new projects we are working on!


Simply input your email address in the box to the right, above our twitter feed, and we do the rest!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

The past inside the present


Sergey Larenkov's blog features images of significant historical events in cities like Berlin, Moscow and Prague - mostly from WWII era - combined with their modern day setting.

Blog: http://sergey-larenkov.livejournal.com/

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Pondering parallels

Alan in Belfast takes Professor Ruth Morrow's recent lecture, "Architecture as Provocation", as his cue to explore the connections between IT architecture and built environment architecture:
"...there are the same overarching societal concerns. Enterprise architecture often has wider goals and constraints, often preventing the over-diversification of technology and seeking opportunities to make the first steps towards a longer-term strategic goal by exploiting the current clients’ shorter term wishes."

Alan in Belfast: Using Prof Ruth Morrow as provocation and applying her inaugural lecture to the world of IT

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Day or Night photoblog

Above: Signage on Telephone House, May St, Belfast (via dayornightbelfast.tumblr.com)

Just launched this week, visit Day or Night for photos of old and classic signs in and around Belfast.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

PLACE Library blog has moved

The PLACE Library project nears completion, and our blogging volunteer has moved to a new home. You can find the full archive of posts relating to the PLACE Library here.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

PLACE library project underway


Image from Bronagh on the PLACE library blog

Our team of volunteer librarians has assembled, and they've started the slightly daunting task of making sense of the wide range of reference materials PLACE has gathered over the past five years - as they put it: "periodicals, reports, exhibition brochures, flyers, promotional materials, maps, postcards and a whole host of other ephemera - all relating in some way to planning, landscape, architecture, community and environment."

Their blog will be especially interesting for anyone interested in librarianship and archiving, and it's definitely a learning experience for the staff here at PLACE.

Blog: PLACE library

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Windowless


Image from naughton321 on Flickr

BLDBLOG has an interview with Irish photographer Richard Mosse, who has taken photographs of the Imperial palaces of Iraq (now converted into army bases) for his new project, Breach.

He makes an interesting comparison between these palaces, American McMansions and the effect of the Window Tax on the development of Irish Architecture:

"McMansion is a term borrowed by us in Ireland, where I'm from. Ireland was hard-hit by English penal laws, from the 17th century onward. One of those laws was the Window Tax. This cruel levy was imposed as a kind of luxury tax, to take money from anyone who had it; the result was that Irish vernacular architecture became windowless. The Irish made good mileage on the half-door, for instance, a kind of door that can be closed halfway down to keep the cattle out but still let the light in.

"Aside from this innovation, and from subtleties in the method of thatching, Irish architecture never fully recovered—to the point that, even today, almost everyone in my country chooses their house from a book called Plan-a-Home, which you can buy for 15 euros. And if you have extra cash to throw in, you can flick to the back of the book and choose one of the more spectacular McMansions. Those are truly Saddam-esque."

Blog: BLDBLOG

Thursday, 14 May 2009

"It's hard to even look at the picture without it damaging you"


Blog: Bad British Architecture*

*Contains strong language, and needless to say, the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of PLACE