The following was written by PLACE Volunteer and University of Ulster PhD Student Andrew Molloy as part of a critical writing workshop held at PLACE in January 2013.
This is a critical article on the MAC, meant as a companion piece to a critique of St George's Church by Andrew, found here.
I remember watching the MAC being constructed from the architecture studio of the neighbouring University of Ulster. I distinctly recall the surface of my black coffee shimmering as the building’s piles were driven down into the sleech upon which most of central Belfast rests. I later remember observing the jutting cast concrete forms and, comparing them to the drawings and renders of the building, thinking ‘too complicated, too much going on, too busy.’ In retrospect I see I was becoming ‘Architect,’ and ‘Architect’ could always do better, ‘Architect’ is always cynical.
Now the MAC is open I am a regular visitor; be it for coffee with friends, visiting an exhibition in the galleries or informal tutorials and meetings as part of my research. It’s a building I make use of regularly, all of my initial reservations being erased by the elemental act of utility. In mid January 2013 I was lucky enough to be part of a group to receive a guided tour of the building by project-architect and associate of Hall McKnight architects Nigel Murray. This gave me opportunity to sort through my contradicting thoughts.
|The MAC, Saint Anne's Square, Belfast.|