Thursday, 12 December 2013

Forum for Alternative Derry launch | 12th December 2013

Forum for Alternative Derry launches 12th December 2013 at Sandinos, Water Street, Derry~Londonderry, 5.30pm. Everyone welcome.

The initial agenda of the Forum:

Harbour Square : Reconnect
City Gateway : Making an Entrance
Bishop Street : Broken
Waterside Water : Turning our Back
Vacant City : New Uses
Cathedral : Quartered

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

What makes Kilburn Kilburn?

In Kilburn, a "tiny, experimental university" is offering free classes for people seeking to understand what makes this area of north-west London what it is.

Tom Keeley, speaking at the Space: A Social Agenda symposium in Ballymena in October. Photo: David Bunting.

Tom Keeley, a writer, researcher, educator and publisher, spoke at a symposium called Space: A Social Agenda in Ballymena in October. The symposium was jointly produced by PLACE with the Braid Arts Centre and Marianne O'Kane Boal.

Monday, 9 December 2013

RSUA General Meeting & Art Exhibition Opening | Monday 9th December, 6pm | 2 Mount Charles, Belfast

The RSUA General Meeting will take place at 6pm on Monday 9th December 2013 in the RSUA Rooms, 2 Mount Charles, Belfast.

RSUA, 2 Mount Charles, Belfast. Credit:

The meeting will be followed by the Official Opening of the RSUA Art Exhibition.

Refreshments will be available from 6.30pm and the RSUA Art Exhibition will be formally opened at 7.00 pm. All welcome. More information available

Monuments and Buildings Record 2014 Programme of Public Lectures

The Monuments and Buildings Record's programme of free public lectures returns in 2014 with a host of free events in the public reading room at Waterman House, 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA.

For further information or to be kept up to date with public events in the MBR please call 028 9054 3159 or email [email protected]

MBR, Waterman House, 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA

All events: 1:00pm to 2:00pm (additional lecture in September to coincide with Culture Night Belfast)

Friday 10th January
Marcus Patton, Hearth Housing
Sow's Ears & Silk Purses - Hearth's work with derelict buildings.

Friday 7th February
Prof Audrey Horning, QUB
Ireland in the Virginian Sea: comparative archaeology of early modern Atlantic expansion.

Friday 7th March
Declan Hill, Forum for Alternative Belfast
BELFAST/ a method - ideas for development.

Friday 4th April
Mike King, Down County Museum
Moving, conserving and interpreting the Downpatrick High Cross.

Friday 2nd May
Cormac McSparron, Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork
Digging Culture in Derry / Londonderry: Excavations at Elagh Castle and a Seventeenth Century fortification at Prehen House.

Friday 6th June
Dr Rowan McLaughlin, QUB
Rewriting the (Pre) history of Ulster: A synthesis of developer led excavation, monuments and earthworks.

Friday 4th July
Niall Colfer, UCD
Turning Stone into Bread: The Millstone Quarries of the Mourne Mountains.

Friday 1st August
Michael Coulter, Director, Built Heritage
Canals and Navigations - the heritage perspective.

Friday 19th September
1:00pm Sir Robin Masefield
Grey Point Fort - Northern Ireland's Maritime World War One Legacy.
4:00pm Philip Orr, Historian & Author
September 1914- the men of Belfast sign up for the First World War - an illustrated centenary lecture.

Friday 3rd October
Robert Heslip, Belfast City Council
Heritage Practice in Contested Spaces.

Friday 7th November
Dr Emily Murray, Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork
Digging up Medieval Derry: Excavations at Bishop Street Within.

Friday 5th December
Dr Philip MacDonald, Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork Recent Historical & Archaeological Research at Dundrum Castle.

Accessing the Monuments and Buildings Record

Visit: The publicly accessible Pat Collins Reading Room provides access to records, maps and photographs. Copies of records and photographs may be purchased. No appointment is necessary.

Opening times: Tuesday - Friday: 9:30am - 1:00pm and 2:00pm - 4:30pm (excluding public holidays)

Address: Waterman House, 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Forum for Alternative Belfast | Connect East and Connect West launches Thurs 28 Nov, 4pm, Ulster Hall, Belfast

On Thursday 28th November at 4pm, Belfast's Lord Mayor will launch the two publications developed during the 4th Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School 2012, titled Connect East and Connect West.

Click to Enlarge

East and West Belfast Partnership Boards approached the Forum for Alternative Belfast to focus on their respective physical disconnections with the City Centre. The subject of 're-stitching the city' through zones shattered by road infrastructure was the main subject of the Summer School in 2012, the outcomes of which are published in two separate poster documents for the East and West of the city.

Connect East includes a framework plan for the road shatter-zone around Bridge End, a plan for the Sirocco site and a city park.

Connect West includes new drawings for the Divis Street proposals around the Westlink and proposals for various linking and housing projects.

All are welcome at the launch upstairs Room 5 in the Ulster Hall from 4pm sharp for a short discussion and the opportunity to pick up copies of the FAB Summer School 2012 publications.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Friday, 22 November 2013

EPLANI Breakfast Networking Event | Monday 2 December, 8.30am - 9.30am

The Environment and Planning Law Association of Northern Ireland will host a Breakfast Networking Event at PLACE on Monday 2 December 2013, 8.30am - 9.30am (coffee from 8.15am). 

This is an opportunity to meet with other EPLANI members and the committee and make new contacts and connections.

Visit for more information.

To book, or for more information, please contact Sara Tinsley, EPLANI Secretary on 028 9072 3900 or [email protected] EPLANI members: Free / Non members: £25 (includes membership). 

Monday, 18 November 2013

ARCSOC Lecture | Mon 25 Nov, 6pm, David Keir Building

Click to Enlarge

Crumlin Road Courthouse Consultation Event at Crumlin Road Gaol | Thursday 21 November, 1.30pm - 8pm

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced that a public consultation event is to be held at Crumlin Road Gaol to consider a range of options that could rejuvenate the Crumlin Road Courthouse.

The event will take place in the Lower Circle conference facility in Crumlin Road Gaol from 1.30pm to 8.00pm on Thursday 21 November. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture and the Built Environment seeks new members

DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín is seeking to appoint eight new Members to the Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) for Architecture and the Built Environment. 

The Minister said: “This is an excellent opportunity for suitably qualified individuals to use their experience and skills to become design champions and to further the good work already taken by the Ministerial Advisory Group in improving the built environment around us. I hope that there is a high level of interest from those who wish to create an attractive, healthy, safe and sustainable built environment which contributes to neighbourhood renewal and economic growth while promoting equality and tackling poverty and social exclusion.”

In June 2006 the Department published the ‘Architecture and the Built Environment for Northern Ireland’ policy. This policy made provision for the creation of a Ministerial Advisory Group to advise on policy implementation and to champion good design in the built environment.

All applications for appointment are considered strictly on merit. The final decision on appointments will rest with the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 29 November 2013.

Further information, including detailed criteria for appointment, can be obtained from Personnel & Facilities Management Branch, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Causeway Exchange, Level 10, 1- 7 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7EG, by telephoning 028 9051 5149; text phone 028 9052 7668 or emailing: [email protected] Details can also be found at:

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Public Lecture with Prof. Stephen Hodder MBE (RIBA President) | Mon 25 Nov, 6.30pm

Professor Ian Montgomery, Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment, invites you to a public lecture by Professor Stephen Hodder MBE, RIBA President.

Professor Stephen Hodder was educated at the School of Architecture, University of Manchester, where he gained a Distinction in the Bachelor of Architecture degree. He has been in practice since 1983 and in 1992 formed Hodder Associates which won the Royal Fine Art Commission / Sunday Times Building of the Year Award for Colne Swimming Pool later that year. Shortly afterwards he won a limited competition to extend the Arne Jacobsen's Grade 1 Listed St Catherine's College in Oxford and established a client relationship which has now extended for some 20 years.

In 1996 Hodder Associates received the most important award in British Architecture for a single building, the inaugural Stirling Prize for Architecture for the Centenary Building, University of Salford. The Practice has now won over thirty major awards.

Professor Hodder was awarded an MBE for services to architecture in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, 1998. He received an honorary doctorate in 2006 from the Manchester Metropolitan University for his regional, national and international contribution to architecture and won the Roses Design Award of 'Architect of the Year' in the same year. He is currently President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and in 2012 was appointed as Visiting Professor at the Belfast School of Architecture, University of Ulster.

The lecture will take place on Monday 25 November at 6.30pm in the Conor Lecture Theatre, Belfast campus. A pre-lecture reception will be held in the Belfast campus foyer at 6.00pm.

To reserve a place please email [email protected] or by telephone to Annette on 028 9536 7252 by 21 November.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Have Your Say: Living Places: An Urban Stewardship and Design Guide for NI

Living Places: An Urban Stewardship and Design Guide for NI aims to clearly establish the key principles behind good place making. It seeks to inform and inspire all those involved in the process of managing (stewardship) and making (design) urban places, with a view to raising standards across Northern Ireland.


Public consultation on this draft DoE document continues until Thursday 31 October 2013.

University of Ulster student Alex O'Hara receives the 2013 RTPI Joanne Mathers Award

Research into the importance of integrating public health issues with urban planning has secured a top award (the 2013 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI NI) Joanne Mathers Award) for a student from the University of Ulster’s School of the Built Environment.

Professor Greg Lloyd, Head of the School of the Built Environment,
Alex O’Hara, recipient of the Joanne Mathers Award and
Carol Ramsey, Chairperson Royal Town Planning Institute (NI)

Alex O’Hara from Ballyclare, graduated earlier this year and undertook his research with Belfast Healthy Cities, a citywide partnership working to improve the population’s health equity and wellbeing.

He reviewed a wide range of existing national and international publications to identify why planning matters to health. His research supported the view that a quality built environment can greatly affect the standard of health and wellbeing of those who interact with it.

Alex’s research also showed that further work needs to be undertaken to improve the level of mutual understanding and integration between planning and health professionals.

Gavan Rafferty, Lecturer in Spatial Planning and Development, said Belfast Healthy Cities was delighted with the quality of Alex’s work.

He added: “His research provided added value to the organisation’s commitment to developing knowledge of building healthier cities. It also has the potential to inform wider practice in Northern Ireland, demonstrating the benefits of students undertaking ‘real life’ research projects.”

Professor Greg Lloyd, Head of the School of the Built Environment at Ulster congratulated Alex on his “well-deserved” success.

He said: “These are exciting and promising times for planning in Northern Ireland, with a reformed land use planning system in hand, the Review of Public Administration and the introduction of community planning to take place shortly - and this prestigious award reflects these ambitions.

“It is richly deserved by Alex and I wish him every success in his career. The School of the Built Environment is very proud of him.”

Caption (l-r): Professor Greg Lloyd, Head of the School of the Built Environment, Alex O’Hara, student recipient of the Joanne Mathers Award and Carol Ramsey, Chairperson Royal Town Planning Institute (NI)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Have Your Say: Draft Greater Ballysillan Area Masterplan

A draft masterplan has today been launched to set out a vision for the future of the Greater Ballysillan area which will be used by central and local government, community organisations and the private sector to plan investment in the area over the next 10 to 20 years.

Draft Greater Ballysillan Area Masterplan.

The masterplan has been commissioned by the Department for Social Development. The Paul Hogarth Company has been appointed from a consultancy framework to produce the masterplan. 

A series of public consultation events will give people a chance to view the proposals and share their thoughts with the consultancy team.

  • Monday 28 October (7.00-9.00pm) Westland Community Centre 
  • Tuesday 5 November (6.30-8.30pm) Benview Community Centre 
  • Wednesday 6 November (2.30-4.30pm) Concorde Community Centre 
  • Monday 11 November (5.00-7.00pm) Immanuel Church of Ireland 
  • Tuesday 12 November (6.00-8.00pm) Sacred Heart Church 
  • Wednesday 13 November (11.30-2.00pm) Eglinton Presbyterian Church 
  • Tuesday 19 November (6.30-8.30pm) Ballysillan Community Forum 
  • Thursday 21 November (5.00-7.00pm) Cavehill Methodist Church 
  • Tuesday 26 November (5.00-7.00pm) Joanmount Methodist Church 
  • Saturday 14 December (11.00-3.00pm) Boys Model School (Family Fun Day

Click here to view the Draft Greater Ballysillan Masterplan. A feedback form can be downloaded at this link. For further information email: [email protected]

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

European Walled Towns Symposium | Thursday 24 October 2013, Derry~Londonderry

The Symposium takes place from 23 - 26 October 2013 and is hosted by the European Walled Towns Association, Holywell Trust and Derry City Council.

European Walled Towns Symposium

Through an engaging programme of lectures and activities 'Historic Towns - Walled Towns' aims to bring different communities in Europe together to share their expertise and local experiences in the following fields, and particularly against the backdrop of the economic crisis:
  • Balancing heritage conservation with job creation & regeneration priorities;
  • Engaging people and business in heritage;
  • Heritage management in post-conflict or contested spaces;
  • Creating a heritage legacy from Cities of Culture.
Speakers from various backgrounds and nationalities will present their best practice examples and three elaborate workshops allow delegates to engage in local challenges. Additionally, there is ample opportunity to connect with other delegates in a number of social events.

Historic Walled Towns - Walled Towns | Thursday 24 October 2013


Friday, 11 October 2013

Urban Exploration: Andrew Molloy & Fergus Jordan | 30 October, 1pm, Belfast Exposed

Urban Exploration is a discussion with architect and University of Ulster doctoral student Andrew Molloy responding to urban exploration and Psychogeography, examining some of the research methods underpinning Fergus Jordan’s Garden Estate and within his own practice.

Copyright: Fergus Jordan.

Garden Estate is a new series of work examining the legacy of a heroin epidemic which devastated a 1970’s council estate on the edge of Ballymena called Dunclug. The exhibition runs from 17 October - 4 November 2013 at Belfast Exposed, Donegall Street, Belfast.

Urban Exploration takes place at Belfast Exposed, Donegall Street, Belfast on 30th October 2013 from 1 - 2pm.

For more information visit:

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Have Your Say: Ebrington Development Framework Consultation

Ilex is seeking your views on the regeneration of the Ebrington site in Derry~Londonderry.

Works completed to date include the development of Cunningham Square and Ebrington Square and the Peace Bridge and the refurbishment of building 71. Buildings 80 and 81 are currently being fitted out as temporary exhibition space for the Turner Prize 2013 and ultimately as a hub for the creative industries.

Ebrington, Derry~Londonderry

Mel Higgins, Interim Chief Executive of Ilex explained: “A development framework for the 26-acre site is currently under way to ensure sustainable development in the short, medium and long term. Ebrington will seek to attract inward investment and offer a variety of economic, social and cultural benefits,whilst being carefully integrated with the city's One Plan, which forms the basis for future development in the city. We’re therefore keen to engage with local community groups, residents, businesses and individuals, to hear their ideas, and address any concerns they may have."

The second phase of consultation will commence in November, after which an outline planning application for the entire site will be submitted in January 2014.

For more information:

Click here to have your say online. The deadline for responses is 5pm on Friday 25th October 2013.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Belfast School of Architecture & Art Open Night | Tues 22 Oct, 6 - 9pm

The Belfast School of Architecture and Belfast School of Art Open Night will be held on Tuesday 22 October, 6pm - 9pm at the University of Ulster's York Street Campus. Details below:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

'Issues Now' coffee-time debates | Autumn 2013

'Issues Now' was a series of coffee-time debates hosted at the Black Box, Belfast on Wednesday mornings from September - December 2013. 'Issues Now' highlighted the critical issues in relation to design in the built environment and encouraged debate around these themes.

A Belfast School of Architecture (UU) event.

Emily Smyth (University of Ulster) who organised 'Issues Now' explains that:
"The issues that drive debate and development in the design of the built environment are many and varied. Issues might take place on a world stage and have individual global impact, or they may emerge locally and successionally over time or space, having impact cumulatively. The measure of their ‘criticality’ might be life threatening, environmentally destructive, socially adaptive, lifestyle impacting, economic, poetic, moral, ethical, political, professional, personal."
"A critical awareness of these matters is essential across the design and built environment disciplines in order to understand the contribution each can make to the context of concerns and ideas. This series of debates will introduce the most current preoccupations within the design of the built environment at the scales of the building, city, region and indeed the earth."
The 'Issues Now' series of coffee-time debates presented the multiplicity of views, issues and actions of the professions and campaign organisations working in design and the built environment in Northern Ireland.

Below is a summary of each event by Emily Smith (University of Ulster):

Monday, 30 September 2013

Space: A Social Agenda / Friday 18 October / The Braid, Ballymena

Ballymena Borough Council, Braid Arts Centre & Mid Antrim Museum in partnership with PLACE will host 'Space: A Social Agenda' on Friday 18 October. The symposium will explore the links between art, architecture and society. 

Speakers include:
  • Arthur Acheson (Architect and Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group)
  • Cara Courage (Arts and Culture Consultant and PhD researcher at University of Brighton Doctoral College - Arts, Relocalism and the City)
  • Ciaran Mackel (Architect and founder of ARD, Academic and non executive director of PLACE)
  • James Hennessy (Landscape Architect and Urban Designer at The Paul Hogarth Company)
  • Jo Anne Butler & Tara Kennedy (Artists and Architects, Culturstruction)
  • Marianne O’Kane Boal (Art and Architecture Critic)
  • Michael Corr (Creative Director of PLACE, Architect and co-founder of Pie Architects, London)
  • Tom Keeley (Writer, Educator, researcher and publisher)
  • Torange Khonsari (Architect and co founder of Public Works, London)
  • Richard Harris (Co founder of Upstart Dublin)

Date: Friday 18 October 2013
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue: The Braid, Bridge Street, Ballymena, BT43 5EJ
Cost: £15 (including lunch)
Booking: Online (click here) or by phone (028 2563 5900)
Note: There is a 10% online booking charge. Bookings made by phone directly to the Braid will not incur an additional fee.

For further information contact symposium organiser Marianne O’Kane Boal: [email protected] / 0035385 7687757.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Planning & Regeneration vacancies at West Belfast Partnership Board

The West Belfast Partnership Board are currently seeking to recruit an Urban Regeneration Officer, Community Planning Officer and Economic Development Officer. For more information on these positions and to download applications please visit: The closing date is Friday 13th September at 12 noon

Thursday, 5 September 2013

‘Heritage Practice in Contested Spaces’ | 23 - 26 September 2013

The Causeway Museum Service and MINOM are offering engaged practitioners an opportunity to join a participatory event looking at case studies over four days in an area of post-Troubles Northern Ireland - 'Heritage Practice in Contested Spaces'.

The aim of the symposium is to identify transferable best practice, looking both at overt conflict and implicit societal tensions including place, gender, belief, to name a few. 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Launch of The Place-Making Podcast

Celia Spouncer at the entrance to Awakening the Narrows, her project to bring a vacant former guest house in Portaferry back to life. Celia is the subject of the first episode of our Place-Making Podcast. Photo: David Bunting, Images-NI.

Today, we're excited to be launching a new project: The Place-Making Podcast. The podcast has been developed by the creative team here at PLACE along with a dedicated group of volunteers.

We'll be reporting on the initiatives, organisations and individuals making better places around Northern Ireland. We'll meet architects and urban designers, planners and civil servants, councillors, lobbyists, campaigners, critics, artists...

Portaferry is the setting for our first episode. Photo: David Bunting, Images-NI.

I'd like to give a huge thanks to Celia Spouncer for being our guinea pig on the podcast: her project, Awakening the Narrows, makes for an unconventional, but hopefully compelling, first episode. Her story is all about the particular place she finds herself (the lovely town of Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula) and the impact she hopes to have there.

I'd also like to thank Rebekah McCabe and David Bunting who contributed their skills and creativity to the episode. And we'd like to extend a welcome to Anna, Nadine and Andrew who are getting involved as volunteers on the podcast. (If you're interested in getting involved, check out the volunteering page on our website:

You can stream the first episode of The Place-Making Podcast below, or visit the podcast homepage for lots more background information and photography from our visit to Portaferry:

Have a listen, and tell us what you think.


Friday, 16 August 2013

A Review of the PLACE Urban Design Academy 2013

The PLACE Urban Design Academy 2013 took place in the first week of August. Following last year's event at the Obel in Belfast, this second edition was held in the somewhereto_ re:store venue, occupying an empty retail space on Bangor Main Street. Young people aged 14 - 19 explored the built environment through workshops, tours and talks.

PLACE Urban Design Academy participants.

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.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

DoE Minister launches the draft Living Places Urban Design Guide at the PLACE Urban Design Academy

Department of the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan launched the consultation on an urban stewardship and design guide for Northern Ireland at the PLACE Urban Design Academy.

On Thursday 8 August the Minister visited the Academy to see how PLACE encourages young people to think creatively and explore ways to shape their local areas. Through PLACE's somewhereto_ project the Academy was able to take place in a former retail unit on Bangor’s main street. Using empty retail units in this way proves that thinking laterally can enhance the offering and environment of the high street and demonstrate alternative use of urban space.

Left - Right: Luke McMahon (Academy participant), DoE Minister Mark H Durkan,
James Hennessey (The Paul Hogarth Company) and Beth Wilson (Academy participant).

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

FAB Summer School 2013 - 'Why Are There No Trees?' | Mon 12 - Fri 16 August

This year’s Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School considers how the greenways on the edges of the city can connect through the inner and centre city in a coherent way that helps connect city neighbourhoods. The week long study will also draw together all of FAB's previous year's work. 

On Monday morning from 9.30am invited speakers and specialists will succinctly lay out the context.

Two evening review sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, 6pm - 8pm, are open to the public to attend and openly contribute.

The week's findings will be presented publicly on Friday 16th, 4pm - 4.30pm in the City Hall, followed by open discussion that finishes before 5.30pm.

The public can visit the studio work at any time during the week. For full programme details visit

To register for Full Week Attendance (£25 unwaged and students / £50 waged) please email your interest to [email protected].

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Urban Design Academy - ready to go

As you may know, all next week we're holding the PLACE Urban Design Academy 2013 for ages 14-19 in Bangor. Thanks to support from North Down Borough Council, admission to the event is free - but you need to book online in advance: click here.

So what have we got in store? Check out the day-by-day rundown below...

Inside the former Woodsides Dept Store, 69-73 Main Street, Bangor - the venue for next week's PLACE Urban Design Academy. Photo: Conor McCafferty.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Friday, 26 July 2013

Broadway to Belfast. A View on Creating New Public Space in the City

Saul Golden, PLACE Board Member & Lecturer in Architecture, University of Ulster

On a recent visit to New York I noted how the City continues to change and improve it’s public spaces with parks that include street markets, children’s play areas, changing art installations and more pedestrian friendly additions to the public realm - in a city where personal and service vehicles are also an integral part of daily life. These make more family, city-worker and tourist friendly places while helping accommodate different levels of economy - from the local street vendors to sidewalk café and local shops, as well as larger chains.

Public art installations and local street vendors. Credit: Saul Golden.

One example of the city’s more flexible approach to creating new public space is a ‘simple’ extension of the sidewalk (footpath) along lower Broadway at 18th Street near Union Square, which ‘gives back’ an area of a busy street for people to use rather than vehicles. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Walking Tour of Bangor's Built Heritage | Sun 4 Aug

On Sunday 4th August Ian McQuiston and Joe Drew, current and former Chairmen of FABB (For a Better Bangor), will lead a walking tour of Bangor's built heritage. The tour is part of the Open House Festival 2013.

Following in the footsteps of Columbanus, the tour travels from the Abbey to the Long Hole, tracing the town’s Christian beginnings through to its zenith in Victorian and Edwardian period. Experience the changing face of Bangor and enjoy the many fine buildings, including the Town Hall, churches, banks, hotels and the unique Post Office. Appreciate the restored Walled Garden and imaginative reuse of the Harbour Master’s building. Learn about Charles Lanyon's railway station, discuss the future of the vacant Courthouse, and debate the future possibilities for Queen’s Parade and the former Leisure Centre site.

Date: Sunday 4th August
Time: 7 - 9pm
Location: Car Park opposite Bangor Bus & Train Station
Tickets: £5 each. Click Here to book.

Belfast Martyrium: Collating the Relics of Human Sectarianism | Catherine Howe, Georgina Holden & Jason Stewart

The Belfast Martyrium is an MArch thesis project by Catherine Howe, Georgie Holden and Jason Stewart (University of Liverpool). The project has now been nominated to the RIBA Presidents Medal 2013 to be exhibited in September. The group explain the Belfast Martyrium below....

Although seemingly ordinary, relics from sectarian cities each hold distinct narratives and as unique physical artefacts become markers of time, charting the history of a population. How can these, contentious, potentially vexing objects, be brought together without diluting their narrative and allow their investigation through cultural and educational analysis. By collating martyred objects, how can they be preserved without creating shrines at their archived location, perpetuating further violence and tension? Belfast is a city synonymous with sectarianism for which it attracts global, political and media attention, exemplified by the recent flag protests’ broadcast across the world. 

The Belfast Martyrium. Copyright: Catherine Howe, Georgie Holden &
Jason Stewart (MArch Thesis Group, University of Liverpool).

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

RIBA President's Medal Exhibition at the University of Ulster Belfast Campus

The touring exhibition of student work submitted for the RIBA President's Medal is on show in the foyer of the University of Ulster, York Street, Belfast Campus during July. 

The exhibition showcases undergraduate and postgraduate student work from Schools of Architecture across the UK and internationally. 

Credit: University of Ulster

Admission is free and the exhibition is open to the public from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

The exhibition has been organised by Dr Taina Rikala of the University of Ulster in collaboration with John-Paul Nunes, Head of Education Projects, RIBA.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Artists-in-residence Open Call | Writers and Photographers

22 July/ 31 August 2013 
Artists-in-Residence Open Call

somewhereto_NI are delighted to offer two artist-in-residence opportunities in the fields of writing and photography. 

The residencies are open to 18-25 year-olds, and will be based in Bangor, Co. Down as part of somewhereto_re:store, a youth-led takeover of an empty shop for a six-week period. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

New film by Paul G Stewart and Emmett O'Mahony on Transport House

Following our Architecture in 3 Minutes workshop back in May, participants Paul G Stewart and Emmett O'Mahony continued their film partnership to create this contemplative piece about Transport House...

Thursday, 20 June 2013

PLACE at the launch of the Architecture and Built Environment Centre Network (ABECN)

On June 18th Saul Golden represented PLACE at the launch of the Architecture and Built Environment Centre Network (the ABECN), a collective of fourteen centres from around the UK. The occasion was more just a celebratory launch, as representatives from ABECN were joined in a Roundtable discussion by a cross section of participants from government agencies, developers and multi-disciplinary professions. Architecture Minister Ed Vaizey officially launched the Network in the morning before the roundtable examined how to improve design quality across all areas of the built environment. Topics ranged from the influence of government policy and economic factors to the value and efficacy of design reviews on project quality and delivery, and focused in particular on how to collectively improve the quality of residential projects.

Representatives of UK Architecture and Built Environment Centres at the ABECN launch, 18 June 2013 in London. The event was launched by Ed Vaizey MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. PLACE was represented by Board Member Saul Golden (6th from left).

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Launch of The Seeing Project learning resource from Walled City Partnership

Image via
Congratulations to Mary Kerrigan and her colleagues at the Walled City Partnership on yesterday's launch of The Seeing Project, their new learning resource for primary-level school children. The project was launched by the Mayor of Derry Martin Reilly alongside Mary McLaughlin, Chair of the Walled City Partnership and Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Culture Company and Cliodhna Mulhern

The project encourages young children to "voice their feelings, opinions and dreams for themselves and their place". It's based on appreciative inquiry, the "purposeful search for the best in people, in situations and in places". Its initial resources have been developed around the city of Derry, but Mary Kerrigan noted at the launch that the lesson plans can be applied for learning anywhere across the world.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The fabric of built heritage - an urban study of Belfast City Centre | Wed 19 June, 12.30 - Black Box, Hill Street

"Through the study of streets, arcades, the high street and industrial buildings in Belfast City Centre, Erl Johnston, Sara Love, Eoin McKenna and Nicola Woods shed light on the significance of these spaces and structures for the livelihood of the city, while outlining the value of reuse and temporary use of important pieces of the urban fabric."

Click to Enlarge

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Volunteering opportunity this Summer: Urban Design Academy 2013

PLACE is a small but busy Charity working for better places to live, work and play across Northern Ireland. Our Volunteer Programme offers people of all ages the opportunity to be a part of the PLACE team.

The Volunteer Team motivating our students at last year's Urban Design Academy. Photo by Ollie Watts.
We have a new opportunity for interested people to join the Urban Design Academy Volunteer Team. We expect the team will be made up of 5 volunteers. 

From 5-9 August this year, we're holding our 2nd Annual Urban Design Academy in Bangor. Young people aged 14-19 will be immersed in 5 days of architecture, urban design, public art, building visits, sketching, photography, history and more.

We're looking for volunteers to get involved in the planning, marketing and delivery of the 2013 Academy. Starting in early July, this volunteer post will give you skills in event management, education and learning activities, marketing, audience development and more.

This role is voluntary, for a 2-month period between July and September 2013, 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.

This volunteering role is particularly suited to students and graduates in built environment or education subjects (e.g. Architecture, Planning, Urban Design). However, no particular qualifications are necessary. We can only accept applications for this role from people aged 21 or over.

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Thursday 11 July 2013

Volunteers will be based at PLACE in Belfast City Centre, and there may be occasional travel to other parts of Northern Ireland, particularly to Bangor where the Academy will take place. Volunteers will be supported by PLACE Staff. Some training will be provided but we welcome applicants with the knowledge and initiative to work on their own.


How to apply
Please email a short CV (1 or 2 sides of A4) and a statement answering the following two questions:

1. What would you bring to the team? (Max 300 words)
2. What do you hope to achieve through the position? (Max 300 words)

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.

Send your application to [email protected] no later than 5pm on Thursday 11 July 2013. No applications received after this time can be considered. Please title your email with ‘Academy Volunteer’.

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

If selected, volunteers will be asked to undertake an Access NI check.

If you have any queries regarding the volunteer roles 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:

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

QUB Architecture End of Year Show | Wed 19 June, 5.30pm

The Queen's University Architecture End of Year Show celebrating the work of the 2012-13 academic year takes place Wednesday 19th June, 5.30pm at the Old Science Library, Chlorine Gardens, Belfast, BT9 5DJ.

Professor Greg Keeffe will open the evening with a speech followed by announcements of prizes. There will be viewing of the exhibition until 10pm.

Click to Enlarge.

The exhibition will continue until the 29th June (Mon - Sat, 10am - 5pm / Thursday late night to 8pm)

For more information email [email protected], phone 028 9097 4198 or visit

The End of Year Show is supported by Haldane Fisher, MB Architectural and Metal Technology Ltd.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Belfast Civic Trust - Summer Boat Trip - 20 June

Find out more about the work of the Civic Trust:
The Summer Boat Trip of the Belfast Civic Trust will be on Thursday 20 June 2013 at 7.00pm starting from Queens Quay, Belfast (opposite the Custom House).

All welcome. Price: £40 per person.

The Boat Trip will be followed by a meal at Chopin Restaurant, St Anne's Square (two-course meal included).

Places limited to 35 people.

How to book

Send £20 per person to


In addition reserve place by telephoning 02892-682483 or emailing [email protected]

Monday, 3 June 2013

Architecture in 3 Minutes - the films

On 23 May, Dublin film-maker Paddy Cahill (Liberty Hall, Cycling with...) joined us at the Ulster Hall for a day-long workshop during which participants created a short film about Belfast trade union icon Transport House.

Here are the results...

Team 1 was made up of  David Bunting, Mirko Marcato, Lise McGreevy & Andrew Molloy.

Team 2 was Emmett O'Mahony, Paul Stewart & Sean McKeown.

All edits were done "in-camera" meaning the teams had to plan their shots very carefully to make the most of the 3 minutes allocated - and no post-production software was used.

Update 17/06/13: Emmett O'Mahony and Paul Stewart got in touch last week to say they'd developed their work further. The latest version of their film now includes narration and some stunning new footage they shot of the building.

Our thanks to Jan Carson at the Ulster Hall who made this event possible, Mervyn Smyth for a guided tour of the Belfast Exposed photography archives (a great resource for community film-makers) and of course Paddy Cahill for making the journey up from Dublin to provide his expertise on the day.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Bike Week: Cycling Policy Events | Wed 19 June, Derry~Londonderry & Belfast

Politically Painless Active Travel is a series of two events in Derry~Londonderry and Belfast on Wednesday 19 June, during Bike Week 2013. The events will explore the steps to get more people cycling and walking in Northern Ireland. The events are being organised by CTC, Sustrans, Travelwise and Derry City Council.

Image Credit: David Bunting (Images NI)

Registration is free and both events are open to the public.

Click here to register on the CTC website.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The fabric of built heritage - an urban study of Belfast City Centre | Wed 19 June, 12.30, Black Box, Belfast

City centres are dense and intense urban areas. In the last couple of centuries, many city centres have increasingly changed from industrial and residential to commercial and leisure spaces. These changes became more dramatic by the end of the twentieth century, affecting the way we use and perceive urban spaces and the buildings that bind them.

Belfast is no exception, and with the broad process of suburbanization and zoning since the 1970s the city centre has become a space of either retail or abandoned and derelict spaces. Within this process, much significant built heritage has become at risk of dereliction and demolition.
Click to Enlarge.

The conservation and reuse of existing structures as part of an integrated urban environment is only now gaining momentum. Existing and abandoned buildings represent a substantially under-utilised resource, while adaptive reuse could play a pivotal role in the regeneration of the built environment. The combined study of urban morphology and architectural heritage provides an innovative approach to urban design, not only concerned with the preservation of buildings but with a holistic and efficient reuse in the context of streets and public spaces. The project investigates the existing urban fabric of Belfast through surveying and mapping the streets in the city and the buildings that bind them, analysing among others, proportions, materials, urban furniture, mobility and accessibility of both streets and buildings.

Through the study of streets, arcades, the high street and industrial buildings in Belfast City Centre, Erl Johnston, Sara Love, Eoin McKenna and Nicola Woods shed light on the significance of these spaces and structures for the livelihood of the city, while outlining the value of reuse and temporary use of important pieces of the urban fabric.

This lunchtime event will be held in the Black Box Green Room on Wednesday19th June at 12.30pm.