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Belfast’s new arts centre explores the idea of architecture as collage in a city understood as an assemblage of fragments, elements and materialsFor fairly obvious reasons, Belfast has lagged behind other post-industrial cities in the pace of urban revitalisation.
Metropolitan House - an architectural monument of the XVIII century, the former for 200 years the seat of the Metropolitan of Kiev, and now - a museum as part of the national reserve Sophia of Kyiv, on Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine. This 23-story mixed use development building is located in Chinatown and includes 118 condominiums, 133 apartments, retail, commercial and community program space, underground parking, and a public courtyard. UK) Rest of the world Student IndividualThe only architecture magazine with a social conscience, your subscription is designed to deepen your knowledge and challenge you with reflections on the social purpose of architecture. The Troubles froze development of the city centre and split residential neighbourhoods as traditional heavy industry and the shipyards declined. You are immediately aware that here is a building concerned with form, with communal legibility, and with views both in and out.The lot immediately north of the MAC is currently vacant. The design of the tower over a six-story base retains the scale of the existing streetscape, while the U-shaped configuration of these lower floors define an open courtyard, creating additional visual relief and open space at the pedestrian level.

In the long term, however, such delay may be to Belfast’s benefit, especially if the experience of other metropolitan brown fields can be absorbed and refined.Belfast’s current leaders are betting rather heavily on the quixotically titled Titanic Quarter with European-style apartment buildings and a Libeskind-esque centrepiece across the River Lagan from the historic urban core. Yet is there anything specifically Northern Irish about the design of many such ‘developments’?
From there, a lane tucks back against the MAC and a striated facade of vertical panels of brick or glass to provide access to St Anne’s Square, an almost secret piazza wrapped on three sides by the aforementioned commercial development (typically two storeys of accommodation plus attic above a double-storey colonnade).Here, facing south, the MAC steps forward to deliver its signature statement. Closer to the city centre, the new Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC) is compelling evidence of an authentic Ulster voice in architectural culture.By day, the tower - a geological eruption of polished basalt - takes on a warmer toneThe MAC occupies, and harnesses, a frankly eccentric site tucked around the back of St Anne’s Anglican cathedral.
A tower of inky black basalt and staggered orthogonal windows is topped by a glazed cubic lantern visible from many directions.
Certainly the architects are highly conscious of the implantation of forms into the urban matrix and of characteristics their materials share with the historic fabric of the city.There is also, however, something topographical about the massing of the MAC, the striation of the facades (brick panels sliding horizontally between slim concrete bands) and the way the basalt tower emerges from the ground surface of the new piazza. Basalt is not merely a material with beautiful surface qualities useful for honorific and ceremonial structures, in Northern Ireland basalt signifies the Giant’s Causeway, that iconic landscape of polygonal shafts emerging from the seas north of Belfast.The main atrium is a warm-hued canyon of brick and vertically striated concreteHackett Hall McKnight pay considerable attention to the texture of walls, both inside and out – indeed they take care to allow surfaces to be legible and extend from exterior to interior or vice versa. This block accommodates a small gallery at street level, a studio performance space above, and a second gallery on top with oblique apertures that offer unexpected views either to the cathedral or into the piazza.Topographical allusions continue at the MAC as one proceeds through the foyer area, pausing perhaps at a long bar cut into the base of the modulated concrete wall.

The primary staircase ascends to the west-facing wall of the larger of the two primary blocks (it houses the principal performance space with the largest gallery and workshops above and two dance studios on top).
Terrazzo floors traverse edges of the space and flow into pools of irregular space between the more solid volumes.Folded curtains in a dance studio continue the monochromatic striations of the ceiling and wallsBalconies or interior terraces slip in and out of view like the shelves of a highly articulate cliff face, making for a dramatic social organism especially when citizens gather before a performance or for an art opening. High above, the ceiling is cut into with orthogonal pockets that admit quantities of natural light deep into the foyer.DetailThe main gallery and attic dance studios have similarly generous erosions through the roof slab or perimeter clerestories. Above the lane running from the piazza, double-height windows illuminate workshops on the fourth floor.
With the MAC, Belfast now has a splendid facility for cultural activity and social mingling, a thoughtful yet robust building that augurs well for future contributions to the built fabric in these islands and abroad.

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Author: admin | 19.01.2015 | Category: How To Build A Garden Shed

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