Showing posts with label Vacant buildings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacant buildings. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Boom! Collective & Studio repurpose vacant building in Bangor

Boom! Collective & Studio have repurposed the top floor of the former Clinton Cards building on 80 Main Street, Bangor, transforming it from vacant to vibrant. Three creative practitioners, Marianne Kennerley (Multi-discipline designer), Katie Mitchell (Garden designer/illustrator/photographer) and Jo Hatty, (Scultptor/artist) were inspired by their residencies at Project 24 and joined forces to create a workspace of their own for freelance local creatives. 

Boom! Collective & Studios is set up as a social enterprise with five studio spaces and a gallery space, a materials co-op and a creative reference library. They aspire to be a base for the creative industries to meet and share experiences in the heart of Bangor and through repurposing this vacant building, to assist in regenerating the town centre.

Wee Residencies....

Over the 13th,14th, 15th of March, Boom! Collective & Studios are opening their doors and inviting applications for its first Wee Residencies.
Wee Residencies is a collection of sixteen creative residencies taking place in the newly established Boom! Studios. Along with a symbolic funding of £2.00, Wee Residencies will provide access to a Boom! space for a period of 2 hours at an allotted time over the weekend with the outcomes exhibited in the Boom Gallery.

For more information, including the Artists Brief please contact: [email protected]

Facebook: Boom-Studios

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Vacant to Vibrant | Learning from elsewhere

We know that the problem of declining town centres and increasing vacancy and dereliction is not unique to Northern Ireland. It's a feature of post-industrial cities, where the displacement of the population into suburbs and commuter belts, the spread of out-of-town retailing, and questionable historic planning decisions converge to challenge the significance and survival of the town centre. So how has this been dealt with in other places that have experienced the same issue? 
Well, PLACE and somewhereto_NI placement student Senan Seaton Kelly has been on the trail of some of the most inspiring examples, from post-earthquake Christchurch NZ, to New York City, and back to Bristol.  

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

What I learned from the FAB Summer School 2012

Anna Skoura works with the Forum for Alternative Belfast and is a contributor to the PLACE Blog. She reports on the Forum's recent Summer School, "Re-stitching the city" held at Belfast City Hall from 13th-17th August.

The Forum for Alternative Belfast (FAB) 2012 Summer school took place two weeks ago (13-17 August) in the City Hall. The event was organised in collaboration with the East (EWPB) and West Belfast Partnership Boards (WBPB). The theme was “Re-stitching the city” and its primary goal was to address the very poor connection of the city centre with East and West Belfast. This is the fourth FAB Summer school, after 2009 which resulted to the "missing city map", 2010 which focused on North Belfast and 2011 on South Belfast. It followed the same structure: presentations for the first two days, public consultation on Tuesday and Wednesday evening and workshops during the rest of the week.
Photo by David Bunting
The organisers along with Belfast’s governmental and community bodies (Belfast City Council, East and West Belfast Partnership boards, Department for Social Development (DSD), Department of Environment (DOE), Department for regional Development (DRD)) presented their views and future projects related to the study areas.

Right from the start, it was interesting to see the distinctive approach that East and West Partnership representatives held during their opening presentations. Maurice Kinkead (CEO of EBPB) in an optimistic manner highlighted the positive impact of the Partnership’s recent activity in certain areas of East Belfast, while Geraldine McAteer (WBPB), very concerned, underlined West Belfast’s challenges and most urgent needs. Regarding the presentations given by the different Departments, the lack of a comprehensive vision for the city’s future and the lack of inter-departmental collaboration becomes evident. Sadly, clashing projects are sometimes the result.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

PLACE Urban Design Summer School Day Four | Urban Design & Building Visits

The PLACE Urban Design Summer School is a week long event for 14 - 20 years olds to explore architecture, design, public art, sketching, photography, urban history and more! The week offers the 27 young people registered a chance to learn about the built environment through exciting workshops, fascinating tours and more!

The Summer School is a part of 'out of PLACE' in Ireland's tallest building, The Obel. With support from Karl Group and McConnell Property PLACE are occupying the ground floor with fantastic views over-looking the River Lagan until September. Out of PLACE will also host the 'Secret Laboratories' exhibition and the 'RSUA President's Medal: The Shortlist' exhibition.

Let's see what everyone got up to on day four with a particular focus on Urban Design and some exciting Building Visits...

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Past in the Present: A Bright Future for Carlisle Memorial Church

In this series, The Past in the Present, we explore how the historic urban character of a city can be part of a dynamic and continually evolving contemporary society, with an aim to spark debate on the topic of conservation and heritage in our cities and further afield.

Series curated by Ailish Killilea and Anna Skoura.

Carlisle Memorial Church Belfast. (Photo by Belfast Telegraph)
Carlisle Memorial Church has featured on our blog series before as one of three buildings in Northern Ireland on the World Monument Watch List (featured on the list in 2010), and it is now set to continue its lineage with repairs of up to £400,000. 

As featured in the Belfast Telegraph today,Alex Attwood, Environment Minister, pledged £400,000 to restore this iconic Belfast building, situated at Carlisle Circus, North Belfast. 

When making the announcement, Attwood said: “Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church is one of Belfast’s best known listed buildings and is a hugely important landmark at the entrance to West and North Belfast from the city centre.

Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church serves as a sober reminder of the city's architectural legacy and its troubled past. The church was designed in Gothic Revival style by the prominent architect, W. H. Lynn, and opened its doors to the public in 1875. The church that was once home to the largest Methodist congregations in Belfast ceased to be used as a place of worship in 1982, a consequence of the declining congregation and its location at a major interface between Catholic and Protestant populations.

Inside Carlisle Church. (Photo by Archiseek) 
The church has been lying derelict for close to thirty years and has suffered extensive physical degradation as a result. Despite its religious associations, the building is now perceived as neutral territory in a deeply polarized area and holds symbolic potential for North Belfast in particular, and for the city as a whole. This public perception and the church’s interface location lend credence to renewed proposals for the adaptive reuse of this shared heritage resource. Such a project would foster significant civic engagement with stakeholder communities and deepen the successes of the Northern Irish peace process.

Attwood also added: “This funding will help secure its future and, following its conservation and regeneration, will be a great opportunity to both revitalize and provide a significant economic boost for the area. What I and DOE is about, is making Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest and this will certainly help to do that."

A spokesman for Belfast Building Preservation Trust said: “Belfast Buildings Preservation Trust is delighted to receive this support from the Department of the Environment. Carlisle Memorial Church was Watch Listed by the World Monuments Fund in 2010 as one of the 100 most endangered historic buildings in the world."

“While it is not economically feasible to save every historic building, it is vital that we do as much as we can to preserve our rich past for future generations. Carlisle memorial is a jewel in our historical crown and after it’s conservation, it will have a great beneficial impact for the economy, tourism and for health and well being", said Minister Attwood.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Practical steps to revitalise our towns and city centres

Minister Sammy Wilson joins PLACE, Arts and Business and Deramore Properties for the launch of out of PLACE in June 2010. L-R: Bill Morrison, PLACE Chair; Heather Carr, Arts & Business; Mark Cunningham, Deramore Properties. Photo (c) Chris Neely.

PLACE Director Michael Hegarty highlights the success of last summer's out of PLACE initiative in Belfast City Centre, and calls for renewed energy in battling against urban blight and decay caused by vacant shop units.

Practical steps to revitalise our towns and city centres
Michael Hegarty
Director, PLACE Architecture and Built Environment Centre

3rd May 2011

Our city centres are where we interact as a society. In the past we needed our city centres for trade and everything from pigs to pennyfarthings were exchanged and bartered on the streets and in the shops.  Victorian Belfast had Doctors, Solicitors, Haberdashers, Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers occupying individual buildings making the city diverse and vibrant. The centre of Derry from the 1940's to 1960's had the multinational crews of warships mingling with livestock markets, grain deliveries, opera-house goers, shoppers and traders.

We now trade, socialise, relax, shop and meander through the streets of central Belfast or Derry mostly because we choose to. We can shop out-of-town or on-line, we can bank from home, work by phone and internet, and conduct our business with teleconferencing. The result of the changes in society is that there is less demand for city centre retail space than there was twenty years ago. This is right at the time when people realise that they enjoy city centres. People enjoy interacting with each other in vibrant city centres and it is important that Belfast, Derry and our market towns retain the best of what they have while taking advantage of new opportunities.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Platform Arts: Station Project

Platform Arts last week launched the first in an ongoing series of exhibitions, installations and happenings in the former children's hospital and RUC Barracks on Queen Street, Belfast, to continue over the next two years.
‘Station’ is an experimental curatorial project organised by Platform Arts. It will commence in 2010 and run for two years. The premise of the project is to invite artists, writers, and curators etc to come and make work in or in response to the building.

The building itself is located on Queen Street, Belfast. It was built in 1878 as a children’s hospital, rumoured to be one of the first hospitals to be set up under Florence Nightingale’s model of nursing and run by her matrons. It was then turned into an RUC barracks from 1933 to 2000 when it was officially close down and sold. It was one of the oldest RUC barracks in the city and suffered a catalogue of attacks during the ‘Troubles’. It is a Grade One listed building and it is due to be renovated in 2013 and turned into a hotel and bar.

We have been granted access to this building for the next two years, where we hope artists will come and make work in the space or in response to it, leaving a trace of their activity behind thus creating a new layer of history to the building. All work will be documented and archived with the hope that the collection will go on to exhibition when the project comes to an end.

Platform Arts: Station Project