Sportlann, Belfast

Demonstrates what can be achieved with creative thinking

Sportlann, Belfast.
Sportlann, Belfast. Credit: Gary Quigg

ARdMackel Architects for Coláiste Feirste
Contract value: £2.35m
GIA: 1,892 m²
Cost per m²: £1,242

Coláiste Feirste, an Irish language secondary school, occupies Beechmount House, near the top of the Falls Road. The property’s original front gardens fall away steeply to the east and it is in front of the house, to the north, that this sports hall is sited.

  • Sportlann, Belfast.
    Sportlann, Belfast. Credit: Gary Quigg
  • Sportlann, Belfast.
    Sportlann, Belfast. Credit: Gary Quigg
  • Sportlann, Belfast.
    Sportlann, Belfast. Credit: Gary Quigg
  • Sportlann, Belfast.
    Sportlann, Belfast. Credit: Gary Quigg
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The building has a simple geometry; central through-access separates the tallest volume of the large sports hall from the ground-level changing rooms and stores, with minor hall/classroom, gymnasium and upper level walkway above. The structure is clad in two tones of dark grey brick with strategically-placed punched windows that allow views through the building. Internally the concrete structural frame, and concrete block infill, are exposed and left undecorated. Built to a tight budget and complying with Department of Education spatial standards, this building demonstrates what can be achieved when creative thinking is applied to what might easily have proved a very constraining brief.

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