Market and Donegall Pass get a Queen’s boost

A group of eight students have drawn up plans to revive the Donegall Pass Community Forum premises in the South of the city. A group of eight students have drawn up plans to revive the Donegall Pass Community Forum premises in the South of the city.
By Caoimhe Quinn

FIRST-YEAR and postgraduate Architect students from Queen’s University are working with local community organisations to help deliver improvements to a range of premises in South Belfast over just five days.

Street Society is an annual one-week environmental design and creative event, running since 2010, which is facilitated by architecture staff from the School of the Built and Natural Environment.

It brings community clients together with a group of talented students of architecture to produce positive results for local communities.

Five students undertook the ‘Bridging the Gap’ project with the Market Development Association, looking at the strip of land between the Gasworks and the Market, with a focus towards linking the Market back to the city and Ormeau Park.

The creation of links between the Market and Gasworks better connects the Market to the rest of the city, with more immediate links to the Lagan Towpath and the Gasworks.

The proposed masterplan would provide more housing to meet the demand for more residential space, while providing more activity on the Gasworks site at night. Green spaces will soften the urban landscape, making the Market a more attractive place to live.

Eight students also worked with the Donegall Pass Forum to deliver ideas for a childcare facility, a base and exhibition space for upcoming walking tours and a ‘Men’s Shed’ social space. They believed that gardens and outdoor play areas would be key to the educational spaces which form this project, complimented by sleep rooms, sensory rooms and more individual spaces. Different spaces within could be used freely by the local community for social clubs and events to maintain a street presence into the evening.

By taking the existing building back to its original form, we proposed a new extension that would wrap around the boundary of the site, creating a new internal courtyard with direct access to the day care facility.

The walking tour base, cafe and exhibition space become the main street frontage at ground floor with the very unique bomb shelter taking centre stage to attract visitors.

As the building rises it creates a changing roof scape of different levels, which allow kids to run freely and safely in an urban setting, with visual links within and beyond.

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