Built East Pavilion

Small Project

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Architect: OGU Architects + Donald McCrory Architects

Client: EastSide Partnership

Structural engineer: O'Connor Sutton Cronin Consultant Engineers

Main contractor: Farrans Construction

Joinery & wood supplier: BPJ Group

Timber Distributor: International Timber

Roof engineering and installation: Fabrite

Concrete: Moore Concrete Products

Species: Accoya

“We all know what a Belfast sink is but few of us knew what a Belfast truss was until we were presented with this project. This modest project deserves recognition for how it uses timber to positively engage the community as a flexible place to move through, meet, mend bicycles or, initially, to hold an exhibition to remind the community of its heritage.”
– David Morley

Built: East was the winning design in The Belfast Flare competition run by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects. With cultural identity being a divisive issue in Belfast, especially such as the pavilion’s location which have lost prosperity as surrounding factories have closed, it was important to find cultural common ground shared across the neighbouring communities. The site has a rich industrial history and the Belfast truss used in the pavilion design represents the area’s history of manufacturing ingenuity. Originally designed to make use of waste ship building timber, the Belfast truss inspired the team to make careful use of resources. Many of the city’s largest factories had such a roof, including the Belfast Ropeworks which previously faced the site. Each element is designed to evoke memories of the area’s industrial structures but rather than a nostalgic look backwards, it is an opportunity to draw attention to Northern Ireland’s emerging construction innovation and contribute to the local economy. The pavilion is an assembly of three elements, each crafted in a local factory. Traditional craft skills were combined with innovative technologies to create bespoke building components that could be rapidly assembled on site. 1:1 scale truss and joint prototypes were CNC produced to develop the design of each connection. To test the fit of each element, the entire roof structure was assembled in the factory before being dismantled and transported to site.