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Belfast the Banal

Part 2 Project 2011
Vincent Mcilduff
Ulster University, UK
Belfast the Banal lacks a reason for being: a seemingly eternal monotony only interrupted by a weary and trivial political struggle. The city clings to its last remaining memories of once great achievements. It is now a melancholy existence. What Belfast needs is to be freed from a stagnant mindset, and to realise, once again, the great feats people are capable of.

The 'Voisin' scheme is not about a the final solution. Out of the shadows of history its incision across the face of Paris is a leap of faith into tomorrow, to provoke and awake us from a long sleep.

My plan for Belfast is an experiment into urbanism and architecture, reminiscent of a time when architecture was based on a simplicity of form and social need -in direct violation to the extravagant preference for the 'iconic age.'

The resulting project is a Neo-Metabolist ideal: an urbanism and cultural heart born onto this decaying post-industrial site. A system constantly reacting to socio-political and economic changes set amidst the planting of a post-industrial prairie. In the open grain of a shifting urban pattern a space is made to play, dream and exchange our ideas. It is a cultural machine born of an industrial city. Like the tides it moves with the forces that shape us.

The intrinsic problem within our profession is our obsession to define the future. This is impossible. We need an architecture that moves, that grows and dies. That can open like a flower. An urbanism based on an absolute spatial and structural simplicity; a perpetual building site ever evolving.

Vincent Mcilduff

Mr Paul Clarke
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