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RIBA launches international design competition for landmark visitor destination in the heart of Belfast

Published on 4 October 2022

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a competition on behalf of Belfast City Council, seeking an integrated design team for their ambitious Belfast Stories project.

Belfast Stories is a unique visitor destination of unprecedented scale and ambition in the heart of the city centre, that will catalyse economic, social, and cultural regeneration in the city and wider region.

The council hopes to realise a high-quality landmark building, which will attract international and local visitors, as well as providing a home for the Belfast Stories experience, by 2029.

The 5,000 m² site is located on a city centre block to the north of the Royal Avenue and North Street intersection and includes the former Bank of Ireland Art Deco property. The development will accommodate a stories visitor experience, a screen centre, and a variety of vibrant public spaces. The project forms part of the Tourism and Regeneration Pillar of the £1bn Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD).

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Tina Black said: “We’ve chosen to partner with RIBA to attract the very best in design for our ambitious, landmark visitor experience, which is a key part of our Belfast Region City Deal programme of investment.

“Belfast Stories will be a major tourism anchor, reflecting the unique spirit of our city through a variety of media and a mix of immersive, authentic experiences, stories, screens and social spaces – with Belfast’s people and personality at its heart. So it’s only fitting that the design and architecture will be of the highest calibre.”

In the first instance, the competition is seeking responses in line with the requirements set out within the competition documents. It is anticipated that up to five teams will be shortlisted and invited to participate in the design phase of the competition.

The deadline for receipt of applications is midday on 1 November 2022. Visit: www.belfastcity.gov.uk/tenders for more information about the procurement and how to register.

Tenders for the Belfast Stories Interpretative Planning and Exhibition Design team (IPEDT) and the Project Management and Design Assurance team (PMDAT) are also live and more information is available at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/tenders

Source: Belfast City Council