MMAS Architects

MMAS Architects

Castle Place, an area heavily reliant on local consumers and tourists, has been hit particularly hard by Covid–19. The area has seen a significant reduction in footfall over the last six months, less than two years after the Primark fire destroyed one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings and bought the city centre to a stand still for a significant amount of time.  

Prior to Covid–19 attempts have been made to reactivate and pedestrianise this key node of Belfast City Centre through ‘Pop–up parks’ etc. We are working collaboratively with OGU Architects to take the positive outcomes of these schemes and implement a structure which will recreate a bustle in Castle Place (whilst adhering to social distancing measures) and will start conversations surrounding Belfast’s response to its public spaces in light of Covid–19. Through this intervention in Castle Place we are exploring the opportunity to help local businesses and those working in creative industries during the pandemic to test how we can increase the vibrancy and street life of Belfast in the long term. 

The proposal at Castle Place will take place over a trial period and will have the potential to become a permanent part of the city centre’s fabric. The extent of this site will include the pavement area surrounding the existing kiosk (within the furniture lines) the adjacent disabled parking/loading bay and one of the traffic lanes (as was included during previous interventions). This would allow for a more efficient use of the space, drawing an increased number of people on foot, and allow for generosity to be given to social distancing measures. A programme of events would be developed for the space to encourage footfall in the town centre over the coming months and make arts and culture more accessible in the city centre. 

Castle Place, an area heavily reliant on local consumers and tourists, has been hit particularly hard by Covid–19. The area has seen a significant reduction in footfall over the last six months, less than two years after the Primark fire destroyed one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings and bought the city centre to a stand still for a significant amount of time.  

Prior to Covid–19 attempts have been made to reactivate and pedestrianise this key node of Belfast City Centre through ‘Pop–up parks’ etc. We are working collaboratively with OGU Architects to take the positive outcomes of these schemes and implement a structure which will recreate a bustle in Castle Place (whilst adhering to social distancing measures) and will start conversations surrounding Belfast’s response to its public spaces in light of Covid–19. Through this intervention in Castle Place we are exploring the opportunity to help local businesses and those working in creative industries during the pandemic to test how we can increase the vibrancy and street life of Belfast in the long term. 

The proposal at Castle Place will take place over a trial period and will have the potential to become a permanent part of the city centre’s fabric. The extent of this site will include the pavement area surrounding the existing kiosk (within the furniture lines) the adjacent disabled parking/loading bay and one of the traffic lanes (as was included during previous interventions). This would allow for a more efficient use of the space, drawing an increased number of people on foot, and allow for generosity to be given to social distancing measures. A programme of events would be developed for the space to encourage footfall in the town centre over the coming months and make arts and culture more accessible in the city centre. 

 

Castle Place, Belfast