Showing posts with label PLACE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PLACE. Show all posts

Monday, 5 January 2015

PLACE: 2014 in Review


PLACE continues to develop its Vacant to Vibrant campaign to highlight the opportunities for our town centres.

In March, PLACE held Vacant to Vibrant: Exchange at the Strand Arts Centre. This two-day symposium explored international and local solutions to vacancy. Decision makers, academics, artists and urbanists came together to share inspiring projects and strategies that transformed places and spaces.

The symposium also marked the launch of a new PLACE publication. 'Vacant to Vibrant: Rethinking Town Centres' features case studies of projects tackling vacancy and essays examining the issue in terms of culture, urban policy, commerce, and activism.

Following the symposium PLACE launched a new public space and office at Lower Garfield Street. With support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, a long-term vacant retail unit has been transformed into a bright, modern multi-purpose space enabling PLACE to continue delivering quality built environment projects.

PLACE launched a new multi-purpose public
space at Lower Garfield Street in June 2014.

Open Source Belfast returned in April 2014 during the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival to bring life to an empty space at Commercial Court.

Vacant to Vibrant Antrim took over more than 15,000sq ft within a vacant two-storey building in the centre of Antrim, which was generously donated by Karl Asset Management. During July and August, the space provided young people aged 16-25 a free space to showcase their talent and bring vibrancy to the town centre as part of PLACE’s partnership with somewhereto_ and the Enkalon Foundation.

Vacant to Vibrant Antrim reanimated more than 15,000sq ft
of empty space in partnership with Karl Asset Management,
somewhereto_ and the Enkalon Foundation.


Throughout March and April, PLACE ran a series of workshops across Northern Ireland aimed at introducing and outlining the concepts and principles of the DOE’s Living Places Urban Stewardship and Design Guide. This was followed, in September, by the Living Places symposium to coincide with the launch of the document. The event opened with Minister Mark H Durkan officially launching the design guide. James Hennessey (The Paul Hogarth Company) then provided background to the development of the guidance and Michael Corr (PLACE) highlighted the main issues to arise from the Living Places Training Workshops (delivered by PLACE in March 2014). 

Living Places Launch Symposium. L - R: Michael Corr (Director, PLACE),
Minister Mark H Durkan MLA (DoE Minister), Suzanne Wylie (Chief-
Executive, Belfast City Council, James Hennessey (Associate Director,
The Paul Hogarth Company).

Following a short break, Suzanne Wylie (Chief Executive, Belfast City Council provided an overview of how local government will benefit from the guidance and Lara Kinneir (Member, MAG) reflected on experience working with Design for London. Darran Crawford (Scottish National Parks) highlighted the Scotland's Creating Places document and the use of design charrettes to accompany the Scottish guidance.


The opening of PLACE’s new premises in June coincided with the 10th anniversary of the founding of the organisation. To mark this milestone the 10 Years of PLACE exhibition looked back on the previous 10 years of innovation and collaboration to make better places across Northern Ireland. 

10 Years of PLACE was an exhibition looking back on the
past 10 years of the organisation.

Lamps on Lower Garfield Street was a street light installation during Culture Night Belfast to highlight the important pedestrian link between the commercial area of Royal Avenue and the vibrant cultural activities of the Cathedral Quarter.

In October 2014, PLACE curated an exhibition, hosted by the Golden Thread Gallery, documenting representations of Craigavon in the 50 years since its founding. The exhibtion ‘Craigavon New Town: 50 Years of Modernity' was centred on the work of visual artist Victor Sloan, whose photography from the 1970s until the present day was displayed alongside selected archival materials that tell the story and inspiration for the town. The opposition of Sloan’s uneasy imagery of life in a new city with the idealist, utopian visual culture of 1960s town planning, tells the story of a place in which quotidian normality is layered on top of the absurdity of the project’s unrealised ambition. The exhibition was created with support from the British Council and formed part of the Absorbing Modernity mini-festival, which is the regional response to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.


The PLACE Urban Walks expanded across Northern Ireland in 2014 with the support of the NGO Challenge Fund, exploring new themes and locations.

The Place-Making Podcast continued with a free 3-day training workshop for those interested in using podcasting and broadcasting to discuss architecture, urban design and built environment issues.

Know Your Place provided young people with the opportunity to capture and explore local built heritage through digital media in Belfast, Bangor and Killough.

Know Your Place Belfast explored some of the
city's most well known heritage buildings, including
Carlisle Memorial Church (pictured above).

PLACE and the Architecture Foundation brought Urban Pioneers to Derry~Londonderry to engage young people and empower them to critically explore the built environment and develop new skills through workshops led by creative professionals.

The 3rd annual PLACE Urban Design Summer Academy brought young people aged 14 - 19 together in Craigavon to explore the architectural ideas and utopian ideals that to the creation of Northern Ireland’s only ‘new town’.


Vacant to Vibrant: Rethinking Town Centres is a collection of essays and articles, reflecting a diversity of opinions, ideas and provocations - embracing everything from artistic practice to local government, examining the subject of vacancy.

Craigavon New Town documents the story of Northern Ireland's only 'new town'. It charts the settlement from the perspective of the people who live there, many who moved there nearly fifty years ago, setting up home in what was then a great social experiment. Anecdotes and memory track the process from the mid-60s displacement of local farmers, through the years of construction, excitement, and prosperity that quickly gave way to decline and dereliction, and the eventual resurgence that is driven by shared identity and belonging newly forged in a place called Brownlow.

Craigavon New Town was launched in 2014 to document the
story of Northern Ireland's only 'new town'.

How to Design a Building introduces children to the subject of architecture and the different things that an architect has to think about when they are designing a building. This book was written and illustrated by Dr Jenny Russell.

An Inventory of Space in Derry~Londonderry is a publication based on work by participants in the Derry~Londonderry Urban Pioneers programme - a programme delivered by PLACE and the Architecture Foundation.


The board and staff at PLACE said farewell to their colleague Conor McCafferty, who, after working at PLACE for four years and leading on many successful projects, has left to pursue a PhD at the Sonic Arts Research Centre at QUB, under the supervision of Drs Sarah Lappin (SPACE) and Gascia Ouzounian (SARC) as part of their Recomposing the City project.

In July, PLACE welcomed Maggie McKeever to the team as a Creative Assistant. Maggie has a degree in Fine Art, from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin and an MA in Cultural Policy & Arts Management from University College Dublin. Maggie has undertaken roles such as arts manager, facilitator, curator, artist and administrator, including experience in Arts events management with UK City of Culture Derry~Londonderry 2013; the Verbal Arts Centre, Body & Soul Festival and the LAB gallery, Dublin.

In November, Bridghin Farren joined the PLACE team as Creative Producer. Bridghin has completed a BA in Sculpture and Combined Media at the Limerick School of Art and Design, and an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick. She moved to Belfast in 2007 to take up the directorship at Catalyst Arts, and afterwards co-founded the creative project Brown&Bri with Rachel Brown. As part of that work she has completed and presented research into Belfast’s empty buildings, and built and ran a cafe-bar on a barge for two years - both performative actions made in response to underused space in Belfast City centre. She has worked as Curator at Belfast Exposed Photography and Arts Co-ordinator with Belfast City Council. Her research interests include using fiction, theatre and staging to map a city’s history, geometry and space travel.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Upcoming events at PLACE during September 2014

September 2014 is shaping up to be a busy month at our new premises on Lower Garfield Street. We have a number of free talks and walks scheduled throughout the month. Visit for more information and to book.

PLACE, 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast, BT1 1FP.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

PLACE has moved to Lower Garfield Street

2014 marks ten years of PLACE and we have moved to a new public space at 7-9 Lower Garfield Street.

Lower Garfield Street.

The street we now call home is an important pedestrian link between the commercial area of Royal Avenue and the vibrant cultural activities of the Cathedral Quarter. Our front door is a short walk from the CastleCourt shopping centre, the University of Ulster, The MAC, City Hall and much more besides.

Lower Garfield Street is also adjacent to North Street, one of Belfast’s original gateways and thoroughfares, which has, in recent years, suffered some of the worst examples of dereliction and urban decay in the city centre. We intend to contribute to the continued revitalisation of that area of Belfast City Centre.

Not only have we reactivated the property, we also intend to animate the surrounding public space of Lower Garfield Street through our busy programme of architecture and built environment projects and events.

The interior of 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street.

We look forward to welcoming you to the launch of our new space at Lower Garfield Street on Thursday 19 June, 6pm.

PLACE is grateful to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for funding support to refurbish the premises and purchase new equipment.

Monday, 6 January 2014

After ten years on Fountain Street, PLACE is on the move.

After ten years on Fountain Street, PLACE is on the move.

2013 was a massive year for PLACE. With new additions to the team and a growing portfolio of projects, it's time to move to new premises. 

Former premises: 40 Fountain Street, Belfast

As we prepare to open our new venue in early 2014, we’ll be making use of temporary office space at 11 Rosemary Street, Belfast, BT1 1QF.

We're currently putting the finishing touches to our Spring 2014 programme, when we’ll continue to raise awareness of architecture, design, and planning - working with communities across Northern Ireland to shape better places to live, work and play for everyone. 

Temporary premises: 11 Rosemary Street, Belfast

We want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to our supporters, volunteers, and friends of PLACE. We're looking forward to seeing you at our new premises and at PLACE events across Northern Ireland throughout 2014.

If you want to keep track of our move and hear more about plans for 2014 and our new place, visit, and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Friday, 16 August 2013

PLACE appoint new Creative Director

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Corr as the new Creative Director of PLACE. Michael is an architect and urban designer and has previously worked with Design for London at the Greater London Authority. He is co-director of Pie architecture London and currently runs an architecture studio at London Metropolitan University.

PLACE Creative Director Michael Corr

As Creative Director of PLACE Michael is responsible for developing the creative vision of the organisation in conjunction with the team and the board. Michael will represent PLACE at a regional, national and international level, liaising with key clients and partners and developing future creative and cultural projects for the organisation.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

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.

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.


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]

Saturday, 19 May 2012

PLACE Internships - Summer 2012

PLACE is a small but busy Charity working to promote quality in architecture and urban design for all of Northern Ireland. Our Internship Programme offers students, graduates and other interested people the opportunity to be a part of the PLACE team.

Photo by Robin Cordiner.

Current vacancies:
Urban Design Summer School: Assisting PLACE Staff with the planning, promotion and delivery of our 5-day Urban Design Summer School. (Applicants should be available for the dates of the Summer School, 6th-10th August.)

Research: Helping prepare background research for various PLACE documents, articles and projects.

Marketing and Communications: You will work with PLACE Staff on all aspects of marketing and communications, including public relations, press releases and the use of online social media and digital media to promote PLACE and facilitate discussion with the general public.

PLACE Internships are voluntary, for a minimum 2 month period between mid-June and September 2012 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.

Closing date for applications: No later than 5pm on Friday 8th June 2012.

Interns will be based at PLACE in Belfast City Centre, and there may be occasional travel to other parts of Northern Ireland. Interns will be supported by PLACE Staff. There may be some elements of training provided but we welcome applicants with the knowledge and initiative to work on their own.


How to apply
Please email your CV and outline what you would bring to the team and what you expect to gain from the position, to [email protected] no later than 5pm on Friday 8th June 2012. No applications received after this time can be considered. Please title your email with ‘PLACE Internship’ and the position you are applying for.

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. Internships are particularly suited to students and graduates in areas of relevance to the built environment or the particular roles outlined above. No particular qualifications are necessary.

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

If you have any queries regarding the internships 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:

Friday, 16 March 2012

North Belfast: A Vision - Friday 16th March 4pm

Following a week of intensive work during the PLACEwinterschool the Forum for Alternative Belfast will gather and present a vision for stitching inner North Belfast back together.

Don't miss this opportunity if you have an interest in North Belfast. Issues addressed include Royal Exchange, University of Ulster Development, Girdwood, Crumlin Gaol, Crumlin Courthouse, Housing, Streets and Public Space.

Friday 16th March 4pm (Indian Community Centre, Clifton Street)

For more information and to find the Indian Community Centre visit:

Thursday, 15 March 2012

New job opportunities at PLACE

PLACE is recruiting for a Manager (Maternity Cover) and a Project Assistant (somewhereto_)

PLACE is recruiting for two new roles - see below for details:

Manager - Maternity Cover
PLACE is recruiting an experienced full time Manager to cover maternity leave. You will have at least 3 years experience in managing a community or cultural organisation, be proficient with current funding requirements and have a flair for creative programming.

Deadline for applications is 11am on Monday 26th March. It is anticipated that interviews will take place on Monday 2nd April.

How do I apply? Download and complete the Application Form. Return the form to PLACE no later than 11am on Monday 26th March. Applications received after this time cannot be accepted. Unless specifically requested, please do not enclose your CV, portfolio or any other supporting material with your application form.

Where do I submit my application form? Submit your completed application form by email to [email protected] with Manager Job Application in the subject line; or by post to PLACE, 40 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE, Northern Ireland; or by hand delivery to the same address. Your application must arrive at PLACE no later than 11am on Monday 26th March 2012.

Do I need to sign the digital application form? No - but you will be asked to sign it if you are called for interview.

What happens after I submit my application? We will endeavour to reply to all those who apply, whether they are called for interview or not. Please note that we may receive a large number of applications, and we have a small staff team - so your patience would be appreciated.

What do I do if I have further questions? Contact us on 028 9023 2524 or email [email protected] with Manager Job query in the subject line.


Project Assistant - somewhereto_
PLACE is recruiting a temporary part time Project Assistant to help deliver somewhereto_ across Northern Ireland. You will have experience of working with young people and have excellent administrative and organisational skills and well as the passion to spread the word about somewhereto_.

Deadline for applications is 11am on Monday 26th March. It is anticipated that interviews will take place on Monday 2nd April.

How do I apply? Download and complete the Application Form. Return the form to PLACE no later than 11am on Monday 26th March. Applications received after this time cannot be accepted. Unless spcifically requested, please do not enclose your CV, portfolio or any other supporting material with your application form.

Where do I submit my application form? Submit your form by email to [email protected] with Project Assistant Job Application in the subject line; or by post to PLACE, 40 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE, Northern Ireland; or by hand delivery to the same address.

Do I need to sign the digital application form? No - but you will be asked to sign it if you are called for interview.

What happens after I submit my application? We will endeavour to reply to all those who apply, whether they are called for interview or not. Please note that we may receive a large number of applications, and we have a small staff team - so your patience would be appreciated.

What do I do if I have further questions? Contact us on 028 9023 2524 or email [email protected] with Project Assistant Job query in the subject line.


Equality of opportunity
It is our policy to provide equality of opportunity to all, irrespective of:
- gender, including gender reassignment
- marital or civil partnership status
- having or not having dependents
- religious belief or political opinion
- race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, being an Irish traveller)
- disability
- sexual orientation
- age

We are opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. All those applying for a position at PLACE will be treated fairly and will not be discriminated against on any of the above grounds. Decisions on appointment, selection for office, training or any other benefit will be made objectively, without unlawful discrimination, and based on aptitude and ability.

Planning Landscape Architecture Community Environment Limited.
A Charity registered in Northern Ireland, with its Registered Office at 40 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE.
Company Number: NI607231 / Registered Charity Number: XT30723.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

PLACEwinterschool: 12 - 16 March 2012

The Indian Community Centre, Clifton Street, Belfast 

PLACEwinterschool is an intensive week long event facilitated by Forum for Alternative Belfast focusing on the area and on current and proposed urban projects around the 'Cultural Corridor'. The Corridor extends from the Cathedral Quarter at Donegall Street, up Clifton Street and on to the Crumlin Road Courthouse and Jail and the Carnegie Library on the Oldpark Road. 

Nearly £1 billion of public and private investment will be spent in the area in the next ten years. It is vital that this spending delivers the maximum benefit to Belfast, to the local communities and to the re-making of good streets, in what is one of the most fragmented areas of Belfast. 

We are looking for 
  • Key people from the community, business, government departments, non government agencies, cultural organisations, Belfast City Council and other Councils who will join at different times during the week. 
  • Architecture, Planning, Urban Design and Landscape professionals / students to sign up for the week to develop concept ideas through model making and visualisation (registration necessary). 
  • Many events are open to the public and we encourage people to drop in and see what we are doing. Come to the free Corridor events. 
  • Key note addresses open to the public will be given on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th March at 6pm. 

During the week cultural events will take place in and around landmark buildings along the Corridor.

Register your interest at this link.

For more information visit or search #placews on Twitter.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Current volunteering opportunities at PLACE

Photo by Robin Cordiner.

Here at PLACE, our volunteer team are involved every day, in all sorts of ways: greeting visitors, setting up exhibitions, researching and writing for the blog and much more. We want to encourage more people of all ages to get involved with the organisation, and to help us develop our projects across Northern Ireland.

We have a number of current opportunities:

Cardboard Cities at Belfast Children's Festival
We're excited to be working with the Children's Festival again this year. Using freestanding pieces built from cardboard and adding their own extra features, visitors of all ages can adapt and rebuild the city as often as they wish.

When? Venue setup 2nd - 8th March; Event daily 9th - 16th March; Take-down 19th- 20th March
What would I be doing? Helping prepare the venue, and facilitating the workshop during the Festival.
Location: Belfast
Other info: Expenses paid. Training involved.
Interested? Email conor[at] with Cardboard Cities in the subject line.
Deadline: 25th Feb, 5pm


somewhereto_ volunteers
PLACE is the NI Regional Coordinator for somewhereto_, a project finding spaces across the UK for 16-25 year olds. somewhereto_ has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. Our volunteer scheme is open to 16-25 year olds across NI.

When? Places available immediately, continuing throughout Summer 2012.
What would I be doing? Helping other 16-25 year olds who need to find space. Networking and promotion. Day-to-day support.
Location: Centrally in Belfast but also other locations across NI.
Other info: Open to ages 16-25 only. Expenses paid. Personal development reward scheme.
Interested? Email conor[at] with somewhereto_ in the subject line.
Deadline: Rolling


PLACE Blog Team
The PLACE Blog team investigate urban issues near to their heart. We are looking for more dedicated, enthusiastic and insightful people to investigate their urban environment and its systems. Whether you're a budding reporter, photographer or film-maker - or just someone who's passionate about architecture, urban design or rural design - we want to hear from you.

When? Flexible dates and times. Long term and short term projects available.
What would I be doing? Producing blog posts with support from PLACE staff alongside other members of the blog team.
Location: Centrally in Belfast but also other locations across NI.
Other info: Expenses paid. Some training available
Interested? Email conor[at] with Blog Team in the subject line.
Deadline: Rolling

If you have any questions, contact us.

Friday, 10 February 2012

somewhereto_ Share your Vision: A Retrospective

A piece of student work that featured in the presentation.
Last Saturday PLACE held its first student participation event called Share your Vision. The day began with some light refreshments and a brief presentation by some of the PLACE interns and volunteers (Anna Skoura, Gary Potter & Ailish Killilea), giving some insight into the workings of PLACE and some of their own work.

Students participating discussed some of their own projects and interests in the built environment and design. Also present was Mr. Arthur Acheson, of Boyd Partnership and Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group, who encouraged debate on design and addressed design concerns in Belfast and Northern Ireland. This informal debate led to some interesting thinking and many intriguing discussions.

Share your Vision aims to:
  • provide a platform where student projects can be viewed by the wider public
  • promote discussion about the built environment
  • to offer the PLACE Blog as an outlet for new ideas

Due to the success of the event and PLACE's desire to encourage student discussion on architecture and the built environment, there will be another Share your Vision event coming this space.


PLACE is the Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator for somewhereto_, a nationwide project to help young people find the space they need to do the things they love within sport, culture and the arts. Run by Livity, in partnership with Channel 4, the project is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK.

Do you need somewhereto_ do the things you love? Get in touch with us...

Tweet us: @somewhereto_NI
Phone: 028 9023 2524

Thursday, 26 January 2012

somewhereto_ Share your Vision

Lord Kitchener by Alfred Leete, image by Anna Skoura, poster by Ailish Killilea.

CALLING ALL STUDENTS! PLACE needs YOU to Share your Vision.

Is there a topic or project you think people should know about? Something within the built environment realm you feel passionate about? Then you should think about our student participation, somewhereto_Share your Vision, event being held at 12:00 on Saturday 4th of February at PLACE.

This is an opportunity for students to share their vision for the future of architecture and design. Whether it's a project you have worked on or a certain built environment topic you would like to discuss, we would encourage you to take part.

Come along and get to know some of the interns and volunteers at PLACE. Bring along any materials you think may illustrate your chosen subject. Refreshments provided.

If you are interested please RSVP Ailish on [email protected]

When?: 12:00pm, Saturday February 4th.
Where?: PLACE, 40 Fountain Street, Belfast. BT1 5EE.


PLACE is the Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator for somewhereto_, a nationwide project to help young people find the space they need to do the things they love within sport, culture and the arts. Run by Livity, in partnership with Channel 4, the project is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK.

Do you need somewhereto_ do the things you love? Get in touch with us...

Tweet us: @somewhereto_NI
Phone: 028 9023 2524

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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


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!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

University of Ulster students in Derry~Londonderry

PLACE hosted a research review today for Year 5 University of Ulster Architecture students. The students, led by lecturers Saul Golden and Emily Smyth, presented mapping investigations about the city to architects Mary Kerrigan and Michael Hegarty, and University of Ulster urban design PhD student Deirdre Greaney.

The entrance to Artillery Chambers on Artillery Street in Derry, which PLACE is temporarily programming with support from Caldwell & Robinson Solicitors.

The students from University of Ulster have been investigating various sites around Derry City in preparation for their Year 5 design project.

The students produced a complex map and model of the city as part of their initial research, on display at today's review.

Our thanks are due to Caldwell & Robinson for their kind support and use of their premises, and to the Playhouse Theatre for use of their equipment.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Call for expressions of interest: Architects-in-Practice working with Architects-in-Education

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PLACE is pleased to announce a new partnership with the University of Ulster and The Higher Education Academy, aimed at encouraging crossovers between architects in practice and those working in universities. A call for expressions of interest is ongoing - closing date 7th Nov 2011. Click the flyer above for more details.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Culture Night Event: Sonic Stroll by ARD Ciaran Mackel Architects

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Join the Sonic Stroll this Culture Night, 23rd September, at 8pm/8.30pm/9pm, departing PLACE. Free!