Osborne+Co’s £450M place-making masterplan for Belfast waterfront was one of the winners in this year’s, recently announced, World Architecture News Awards. Conceived by world renowned architects, Henning Larsen, TheWaterside masterplan was the winner of the Future Projects Urban Design Award. Praised by the judges as a “tasteful and well-conceived plan”, The Waterside is set to revive Belfast by linking East Belfast and the city centre, inviting people to repopulate the city and becoming a focal point of the city’s flourishing creative eco-system.
The 1.8M sq ft of regeneration development will create a new world-class waterfront locale that includes Grade A contemporary offices, a hotel, 700 homes across a range of tenures, retail and leisure space, plus a new pedestrian and cycle bridge. Architects Henning Larsen bring a Nordic understanding of outdoor living to Belfast.
Lasse Westergaard, Senior Architect, said: “The Waterside will fully activate the potential of the River Lagan. We know that harbours have enormous potential to activate public life in a city. The masterplan will create the framework for people to feel part of a shared public life, as the River Lagan will no longer create a barrier in Belfast but is going to connect it instead.”
The terraced stone landscape of the Giant’s Causeway was a general source of inspiration for the development, from the stepped massing of the buildings, the layout of the terraced landscape areas, to the use of stone and geometric patterns in outdoor surfaces and pavements. Analysing the microclimate, the architects applied an effective scale-gradient strategy to the project. Instead of winds being guided through the streets, the strategy of placing the lower buildings towards the waterfront guides winds over the building to reduce wind speeds significantly and thus prolonging the outdoor season. Additionally, a key objective is to bring as much daylight as possible into the buildings and public realm on site.”