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Cultural Centre Belfast

Part 2 Project 2011
Eoghan O'Brien
University of Lincoln, UK
As a point of departure my final year project looks at the city of Belfast, alongside a text by famous Author Isaac Asimov. As part of my study I chose 3 elements or conditions inherent in the writings and also inherent in the extreme within Belfast. Using the 3 conditions my intention is to respond to a site I encountered on my journeys. The site is in west Belfast and is currently earmarked for an arts and cultural centre celebrating peacetime in the city.

3 conditions :
Violence - Belfast has suffered conflict for decades
Disembodiment - This conflict is disembodied in nature as most of the agitants are unknown and fight behind a mask
Psychospace - as I wandered the streets I was struck with the emotions attached to various sites

As a response to the 3 conditions I created 3 models representing each. These were combined as a physical representation of my studies. The intention was to create an architectonic language to connect the conditions to the site. The studies were further refined using transcription drawings and further model iterations, progressing to a clear language and strategy for the site.

In effect the building represents the conditions on the ground in Belfast. A brutal concrete perimeter wall surrounds the site in effect holding in the architectonic language developed earlier, mirroring the ’peace walls’ that exist nearby. Once the visitor entered the building via hidden entrances, the language would reveal itself. This architectonic language would then be inherent throughout the building. Each hidden entrance also testifies to the conditions once found on site, as a former army lookout post each point of entry or exit was hidden to protect soldiers lives as they exited the base.

Eoghan O'Brien

Mr Richard Wright
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