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Belfast Stories

Part 2 Project 2022
Laura Elizabeth McClorey
Northumbria University Newcastle | UK
“Belfast Stories” is a celebration of the city and its people. The scheme challenges a recently published government brief for a new city centre tourist destination, by combining both community and tourist functions. The project promotes social value within the city by placing community engagement and reconciliation at the heart of its programme.

Following a RetroFirst approach, Belfast Stories revives a disused Art Deco bank, providing a civic gesture to the deserving city. The project reinvigorates a prominent site in the north of the city centre with an urban scale and masterplan that reconnects Belfast’s historic Smithfield Market and Central Library, breathing life back into a forgotten city quarter. The proximity of the library enables cross-programming opportunities between old and new. By creating a new city archive within Belfast Stories, the civic square becomes a repository of the past and a beacon for the future.

The architecture tells Belfast’s stories both technically and conceptually. Façade details respond contextually to the bank and speak of Belfast’s industrial past. Internally, conceptual city desire lines form the basis of the circulation strategy, which culminates on a city view terrace that allows visitors to connect with the communities from which the project was born.

Laura Elizabeth McClorey

Kelly MacKinnon
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