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Cultural centre’s design of the times

By Staff Reporter

The £3.5 million transformation of an old North Belfast church into a cultural hub for the area was honoured last week for the quality of its make over.

The new Duncairn Culture and Arts Centre picked up a highly regarded commendation from Royal Society of Ulster Architects judges who praised its ‘sympathetic transformation ‘from disused church into state of the art cultural centre with offices and a cafe.

Rev Bill Shaw from the 174 Trust that runs the centre said he was over the moon with the honour.

“We were in the conservation category and the builders and architects were commended for the work they did on the centre, and were all given certificates.

“I’m over the moon with the recognition. It’s an affirmation of what a lot of people have been saying to me when they come here for gigs or for conferences. Someone this morning described it as a ‘wow building’ and to have it recognised from an architectural point of view by professionals is just massive.

“It can only help in advertising what someone once referred to as ‘a world class venue’.”

The Centre was designed by Doherty Architects and the main construction was carried out by Felix O’Hare contractors. Both firms sent representatives to the Waterfront Hall last Saturday (May 14) for the ceremony.

Although it has been open since the new year, the official opening of the Centre took place on May 4 with a week long festival of events taking place including a gala concert filmed for BBC and featuring the Alabama 3 and John Spillane.


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