Built: East

OGU Architects, Donald McCrory Architects, Belfast, 2019


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Built: East was the winning design in a pavilion competition called The Belfast Flare run by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects and JP Corry in 2017

Local organisation EastSide Property acted as client, hosting the pavilion in east Belfast. EastSide use the pavilion for a variety of outdoor community events including exhibitions, bike maintenance workshops, children’s drawing classes and heritage walking tours.

The competition brief asked for the Belfast Agenda (Belfast’s Community Plan) to be considered. We focussed on two themes within the Agenda: cultural identity, and local economy. Seeking an aspect of cultural identity held in common by residents and businesses close to the pavilion site, we identified a shared pride in local industrial heritage. The Belfast Truss used in this pavilion represents the area’s history of manufacturing: many of the city’s factories had such a roof, including the ropeworks which used to face the pavilion site.

The Belfast Truss was an innovative solution to limited resources, creating large spans with small timber offcuts from the ship-building industry. It was important to us that this was not a nostalgic look backwards, but an opportunity to draw attention to construction innovation in Northern Ireland, and to contribute to the local economy. As the design progressed, it became an assembly of three elements: an Accoya structure crafted by BPJ Group in Carryduff; a corten roof manufactured by Fabrite in Lisburn; and concrete footings cast by Moore Concrete Products in Ballymena.

Both the corten roof and truss structure were tested and developed through 1:1 prototypes in their factories, drawing upon both the traditional crafts skills and newest technologies of each manufacturer. It is no coincidence that the pavilion took on the likeness of the factory workshops that made its components: it seemed fitting that the RSUA’s first pavilion should applaud the often invisible talent that Northern Irish construction relies upon.

Photography by Joe Laverty


  • Begun: Jun 2019
  • Completed: Jun 2019
  • Floor area: 48m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £64,000
  • Funding: JP Corry, Department for Communities, Eastside Partnership, Royal Society Ulster Architects
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: 402 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1HH, United Kingdom