Showing posts with label Housing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Housing. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Living in Belfast: A study in housing - Open Call for exhibition proposals

PLACE and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and PLACE are pleased to issue an Open Call for proposals for an artwork on the theme of ‘housing’.
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is a UK based architectural practice whose urban planning and architecture are deeply engaged in how cities evolve, support communities and prosper.  The practice works on a broad range of projects which focus on design excellence and the practical issues of knitting together fractured cities, addressing climate change, and supporting the development of sustainable educational buildings.   The 38 year old practice currently employs over 200 staff, focusing on education, master planning, housing and urban design. 
PLACE is an independent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting great architecture, design and planning in Northern Ireland. Our purpose is to create a better place to live, work and play. We work with various types of organisations, institutions and government department across Northern Ireland to encourage high standards of design and engineering, and increase public engagement with their built environment to promote community development and healthier societies.

Belfast has development potential unlike any other UK regional city.  This allows the city to reinvent itself but the reasons for its development potential also present a distinct set of problems; the models applied to foster the development of other cities may be applicable in part but significant issues associated with transport, land values, tenure and government structure present the need to create bespoke solutions.
The wheels of government have successfully delivered or facilitated major projects such as the Titanic Quarter, Victoria Square and, in the near term, the Ulster University’s Belfast City Campus.  Equally, there are projects which are challenging to deliver owing to the economic context.  All of these projects are large in scale and therefore, should they fail to be realised, impact large areas of the city.
‘Iconic’, ‘landmark’ and ‘gateway’ projects dot the city but the background fabric of the city itself is anemic.  While there are pockets of the city which capture a sense of vibrancy and are constantly active, the city generally appears to be tentatively occupied and used solely to support office workers or spots of night time economy including restaurants, bars and theatres.  Missing in this equation is organic residential development around historic cores and new residential development appropriate to create a city.  The missing piece of Belfast’s puzzle is dense residential development typical of urban environments.
We are interested in exploring the issues which have frustrated urban living in Belfast and the opportunities that supporting a vibrant urban centre can bring to the city and region.  Clearly defining the development and architectural typologies that can successfully infuse the city with both small and large scale residential development is the focus of FCBS Belfast study on residential development in the city. There are plenty of landmarks, we just need a place to live.

Open call
We are asking for proposals for an artwork reflecting the ‘housing’ themes and interests outlined above. The selected entrant will receive £750 to be used to develop and realise the artwork. The artwork will be exhibited in the FCBStudios Belfast offices in Spring 2017.

Please submit a PDF including:
 - Name, email, phone number and postal address
  - A written description of the proposal (500 words to include an outline of the idea and description of the exhibition contents). The work can be new or existing.
  - Given the nature of the brief, familiarity with the local context, Belfast in particular, is recommended. Please include a short statement (150 words) on your connection and experience of Belfast.
 - A budget breakdown.
 - Up to 5 images or material to support the proposed idea (optional).

Additional info:
 - The medium can be of any suitable to the environment (images of the office available on request). Please be aware however that this space is adjacent to the main office environment so the inclusion of flashing / bright lights or sound etc. would not be deemed suitable.
 - Groups and collectives can apply.
 - Catering for the launch event will be covered separate to the £750.
 - The exhibition run and dates will be decided in conversation with the selected individual/group.
 - The exhibition space will be open to the public during office hours.
 - A selection panel will consist of members from FCBS, PLACE and the visual arts sector in Belfast. Feedback on unsuccessful proposals will be at the discretion of the panel.
 - There is no fee to enter.

Please send proposals to Brighdín Farren, [email protected] by 5pm on 20th January 2017. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Cohousing Potential in Northern Ireland | Wednesday 28 October, 7-9pm

The UK’s leading expert on Cohousing, Stephen Hill (Chair UK Cohousing Network), is visiting Belfast on Wed 28th Oct and will be discussing NI’s potential for Cohousing.

Cohousing is a type of intentional, collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighbourhoods. Cohousing provides the privacy we are accustomed to within the community we seek.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Nimble Spaces Ways To Live Together: New Cultures of Housing - Friday 1 May 2015

Nimble Spaces Ways To Live Together: New Cultures of Housing is an international conference exploring participative design, spatial justice, social housing, co-housing and new ways to imagine housing in the 21st Century.

Studio Weave, Ecology of Colour. Image by Jim Stephenson

Are you someone with particular housing needs? Are you an architect / designer, researcher, artist, student, activist? Are you a group or an association of people who are tackling a particular housing issue? Are you a policy maker? Do you work supporting people around their housing needs? Are you interested in shared living? Are you interested in rethinking our town centres and rural landscapes as supportive living places? Let’s think collectively. Join Nimble Spaces on Friday 1st May 2015.

Date: Friday 1st May 2015
Time: 9.30am - 5.30pm
Venue: VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow
Tickets: €60 full price / €20 reduced price (students, seniors, unemployed, under-employed / precarious workers). Lunch by Luncheonette included in ticket cost.
Booking: visit or call 059 9172400

The conference is a co-production between Nimble Spaces, Camphill Communities of Ireland, VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Maynooth University Department of Geography and DIT, Dublin School of Architecture. Supported by Irish Design 2015 and the Arts Council.

The conference coincides with a presentation of film, images, and research materials from Nimble Spaces: Enabling Design, documenting long term collaborations between artists, architects and adults with a disability, considering ‘home’ and shared living. Participating artists, architects and filmmaker include Rhona Byrne, Paul Bokslag, LiD Architecture, Eamon Little, Meme Architecture, Jennie Moran, Ríonach Ní Néill and Studio Weave. Developed by Commonage in association with Camphill Communities of Ireland and funded through an Arts Council Arts Participation Project Award.

For the full conference programme and further information please visit

Thursday, 11 April 2013

[Retro]Fit for the Future? | Thurs 18th April, 6pm, PLACE

PLACE present an evening of discussion exploring lessons learnt from the recent retrofit of McMaster Street and the benefits of architectural restoration.

Contributing to the discussion will be Siobhan Brown, Assistant Director, Hearth, Declan Allison, Campaigner, Friends of the Earth, and Michael Briggs, Director, East Belfast Community Development Agency.

This event follows the recent launch of the UAHS and Hearth project 'Quality Streets' - a short animation demonstrating the retrofit of traditional terraced houses.

Date: Thursday 18th April

Time: 6pm

Venue: PLACE, 40 Fountain Street, Belfast, BT1 5EE

Cost: Voluntary donation

Click to Enlarge.

Monday, 8 April 2013

'Quality Streets' Launch | Templemore Baths, 12th April, 12pm

The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society launch 'Quality Streets' on Friday 12th April at 12pm. The short animation, produced in partnership with Hearth Housing Association, demonstrates how traditional terraced housing can be retro-fitted using energy efficient measures, looking at McMaster Street in East Belfast as an example.

McMaster Street, Belfast. Photo by Gary Potter.

Date: 12th April 2013
Time: 12.00pm
Venue: Templemore Baths, Templemore Avenue, Belfast BT5 4FW
Tea and coffee provided.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Talk: Urban Houses | Mon 28 Jan, 6pm, MBC, Lisburn Rd

Forum for Alternative Belfast present a talk by Jan Kleihues of Kleihues + Kleihues, Berlin on Monday 28th January, 6pm at the Medical Biology Centre, Lisburn Road, Belfast.

Image by Stefan Muller.

Jan Kleihues will talk about his practice and the work of his father Josep Paul Kleihues who was the director of the IBA87neu. The IBA (Internationale Bauausstellung) was a housing exhibition running from 1979 until 1987 and beyond, international architects were invited to build innovative housing that also repaired shattered Berlin.

Prof. Michael McGarry who worked in the office of JP Kleihues during the time of the IBA87 will join the discussion afterwards.

Date: Monday 28th January 2013
Time: 6pm
Location: Medical Biology Centre Teaching Centre, Lecture Theatre 2, Lisburn Road

Event supported by the British Council.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Owen Hatherley presents film screening and lecture in Belfast

Click the flyer to enlarge.

Architecture, urbanism and politics writer Owen Hatherley visits Belfast on Sun 22nd and Mon 23rd January for a film screening at QFT and a free lecture at University of Ulster.

The Dilapidated Dwelling (dir. Patrick Keiller, 2000, 78 min)
Selected and introduced by Owen Hatherley
Queen’s Film Theatre, Sun 22 Jan, 3.30pm
£6.20 (£5.70 online) / £5 unwaged / £4 full-time students & children

Owen Hatherley is a regular contributor to the New Statesman, the Guardian and Building Design, writing on architecture, urbanism, the culture of politics and the politics of culture. His latest book, A Guide To The New Ruins of Great Britain, was published to critical acclaim by Verso in 2010. Owen joins us to introduce and discuss Patrick Keiller's experimental documentary The Dilapidated Dwelling

The Dilapidated Dwelling investigates its subject from an extraordinary number of different angles: archive footage, interviews, statistics, humour, accident, even a quiet love story. An unnamed narrator (Tilda Swinton) returns to England after twenty years spent in the Arctic. Her employer commissions her to investigate 'the predicament of the house in the UK'. She falls in love in a supermarket, and settles down with her partner in an Edwardian house on the outskirts of a university town to pursue her research.

She discovers that at the UK’s current rate of house-building, every home currently standing will have to last for 5,600 years, and that the cost of housing in real terms has doubled since the 1930s. She wonders why, when the digital economy is transforming both work and leisure, and mass-production has made consumer items many times cheaper, homes are still built poorly, slowly and expensively.

She discovers archive footage of numerous approaches to utopian architecture, from around the world. She interviews architects, economists and others, who suggest that the housing market protects itself against mass production, and wonder whether modern capitalism is incapable of adequately providing for domestic life. 

The narrator reluctantly comes to the conclusion that the UK is simply incapable of improving its housing stock or applying modern methods to the production of homes, and that the houses of the future will be the ones we already live in.

Despite the use of more traditional documentary techniques like interview and archive footage, The Dilapidated Dwelling retains the poetic sensibility and distinctive visual feel of Keiller’s renowned films London (1994), Robinson in Space (1996) and Robinson in Ruins (2010).


A New Kind of Bleak
Conor Lecture Theatre, Art College, Belfast
Mon 23 Jan, 1 pm
All welcome, free adm

Owen Hatherley will discuss the fate of urbanism and architecture in the UK, in the desolate new world of savage public-sector cuts, as government funds are withdrawn and the Welfare State abdicates. He will be exploring the urban consequences of the Big Society (which Conservatives privately call 'progressive nonsense') and the ‘localism agenda', as well as considering the completion of the last great Blairite schemes, from London's Shard to the site of the 2012 Olympics. In this context, Hatherley will reflect on what might be distinctive about the Belfast’s post-peace process redevelopment and regeneration, now ingloriously stalled. 

This event is part of the ongoing seminar series programmed by the Centre for Media Research at the University of Ulster.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Future of Housing Symposium

Click the booking form above to enlarge and/or print

University of Ulster will host a half day Symposium on Friday 21st May, examining the future challenges and opportunities facing the housing association sector locally.

Held at the University of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus, this event will provide an open forum discussion among all the key stakeholders involved in social housing development and management. It will cover the following themes:

· Assessment of the impact of reduced public expenditure on the Social Housing Development and Supporting People programmes

· The challenges and opportunities of enhanced partnership working for housing development and management; including procurement and mergers

· The need for an effective approach to governance and regulation, based on a framework that is effective; proportionate; outcome focused; risked based and manageable for all parties

· Consideration of new delivery mechanisms for affordable housing (e.g. developer contribution; private sector leasing; opening up competition for Housing Association Grant) and the culture change that this requires

· Exploring the potential of housing associations providing mixed tenure through ‘build for sale’ initiatives, and regeneration aimed at tacking spatial deprivation

· Discussion on the need for reform of the allocations framework and Shared Future housing

Confirmed speakers include:

Heather Cousins - DSD

Simon Hamilton - Chair of the Social Development Committee

Richard Clark - ConsultCIH

Ian Elliott - Oaklee Housing

Paddy McIntyre - NIHE

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Sustainable Home Workshop

Click the flyer above to enlarge

The Sustainable Home Workshop brings together all aspects of sustainable housing in one day. On Friday 16th April you can join with experts in sustainable planning, eco design, energy design, sustainable building materials, water and ecology, and building regulations, to understand the implications and the opportunities in the move to sustainable housing in Northern Ireland. The challenge is huge, as are the opportunities.

If you interested in self build then you can join a practical workshop in a sustainable house on Saturday 17th April, with visits to build projects.

Find out more at

Contact Michael at the details below:
Michael Donnelly
Director, RealEyes Sustainability Ltd
michael AT
+44 7739518998

More info:

Friday, 14 August 2009

"The living room was so small there was only room for three people to sit down"

From the Guardian earlier in the week, a report on space standards in newly-built private homes:

The survey of 2,249 householders who bought homes built between 2003 and 2006 in London and the surrounding counties found that 47% did not have enough room for all the furniture they had or would like to have and 57% did not have enough storage.

The space standards which were recently adopted in London and mentioned in the article have not been taken up in Northern Ireland or anywhere else throughout the UK, as was noted at the discussion on social housing and participation at the Golden Thread Gallery last month, as part of their Unbuilt exhibition.

Guardian: No room to cook dinner or seat guests? Welcome to 'rabbit hutch Britain'
Guardian: Obsessed with house prices, we ignore the cost of lives spent in shoddy homes - Lynsey Hanley

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Golden Thread Gallery hosts built environment debates

To accompany their current exhibition Unbuilt, Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast present two discussions on built environment themes in the community, the first of which is tonight at 6pm!
Thursday 9th July 2008, 6pm
John Reid (Robinson McIllwaine Architects), Dessie Donnelly (People's Participation & Rights Project) & Manus Maguire (Cliftonville Community Regeneration Forum)
A discussion examining local residents’ participation in social housing and redevelopment schemes and asking whether they can influence planning and policy.

Saturday 25th July 2009, 2pm
Declan Hill & Mark Hackett
2020 City Living - Where do I get my pint of milk?
A debate looking at urban planning and discussing possibilities for city-centre Belfast.

Venue: Golden Thread Gallery, 84-94 Great Patrick Street Belfast, BT1 2LU
Tel: 028 90330920
Email: [email protected]

Monday, 11 May 2009

Building for Life

Image source

Led by CABE and the Home Builders Federation, Building for Life is the the "national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods".

"Good quality housing design can improve social wellbeing and quality of life by reducing crime, improving public health, easing transport problems and increasing property values. Building for Life promotes design excellence and celebrates best practice in the house building industry."

Have a look at the Accordia housing scheme in Cambridge, which has been the highest scoring scheme yet: video here and transcript here; images and explanations here.

Building for Life