This proposal is for an extension within the grounds of a boys’ grammar school in Belfast city centre. The original buildings were designed by Sir John Soane at the start of the nineteenth century.
Early in 2022 Hall McKnight were invited, as one of 4 local practices, to compete in a design competition which was organised and managed by the school (The Royal Belfast Academical Institute). The project centred around a new Dining Hall to replace the existing – on a site adjacent to the main school building by Soane.
The ordered and controlled composition of the original design was compromised in the early twentieth century when the school sold land directly in front of the northern range of Soane’s primary elevation for the construction of the Belfast Technical College. The symmetry and setting of the Soane design is now irretrievably lost. Our proposal developed through a compositional approach aimed to recover and re–establish some elements of the original sense of order.