This building and its associated square are the first pieces to emerge from a Masterplan that anticipates significant regeneration in an area of West Belfast. Whilst associated with a new city–wide rapid transit project (of which the building is a terminus), the building will act as a focus around which the Masterplan will proceed.
Two granite squares define the site plan – a new public square and the building. We adopted this geometry in response to the lack of immediate context as the site lacked any clear definition. The new building now becomes the context – to which any adjacent development must respond. Two squares (one, a building – the other a public space) provided a discipline around which to plan and articulate the programme. The building is carved with curved excisions to the north and west elevations (i.e. to the public square and to the main road).
The interior of the building is made with in–situ concrete that is dyed with a red/terracotta pigment evoking the tones of Victorian brickwork that defines Belfast’s historic core a few miles to the east. Two windows protrude from the red interior and present to the main public elevations: a tall window to the new public square; and a raised horizontal window to the main road and parkland on the opposite side.
Despite the modest scale, the building is designed to offer a sense of robust permanence and civic identity at the outset of the Masterplan’s development – establishing a determined character derived from visible construction of heavy materials, in the hope that such values might inform future development of the adjoining sites.