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Anyway, another set of images, this time of the Havelock House development. Planning application is just submitted. Very bland, nondescript affair that could be interchanged with any gods amount of other developments across the city- poor street level interaction, wall of red brick, random splash of bronze panels, disgusting roof floor recessed just enough to not be overly visible...

No room for even a single retail unit on the Ormeau Road side, so with this and Portalnd 88, and the Gasworks on the other side, this section of the Ormeau Road will remain sterile and lifeless for a long time yet.


HH1
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr


HH3
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr


HH2
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr


HH4
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr

It's better than the repulsive crap that was in the consultation though.


HH LOL
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr
 

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poor street level interaction,
This a million times!! No idea why these developments couldn't support abit of ground floor retail with nice active frontages, especially given the location *hint hint* A Centra ** hint hint **

Portland 88 is an ugly mess of a block and most of ground floor flats have stuck up opaque window film to give some privacy. So grim and I've no idea why anyone would pay £250k+ to live there, especially with no nearby amenities, eg a shop, an off-licence or a cafe at the very minimum.

... and we wonder why nobody wants to live in the city centre.
 

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Another clunker in for planning. This must be the third iteration of the proposal for this site. And its still awful. The only saving grace is it no longer extends all over the adjacent buildings on the corner of Bedford Street. The latest architects to have a go are a group from Oxford who obviously have no fecks to give about Belfast and think that some old slab will do fine rightly. Then again, given that BBC think that painting their buildings black is a good idea, this won't even be the worst thing in the immediate area.

It's worth going through the various versions on future belfast and trying to spot the difference.



CS1
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr
 

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What is wrong with these people? Surely there's enough creative, innovative and vibrant design talent here to come up with cost efficient designs that don't resemble something a tech student knocked up on AutoCAD... (or MS Paint in some instances). I mean that last one looks like it's come straight out of the bombproof architecture handbook 1991. I mean, look at those mitred window fronts FFS.
 

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Another round of applause is due to the planning committee. They have approved the magnificent BBC "revamp". Thankfully the original proposal was so crap, modifications to the design were requested. Unfortunately, those modifications in full amount to less black paint. It looks ridiculous.


bbc1
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr

At least the larger extension won't have the woeful black treatment on the Ormeau Avenue facade.


bbc2
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr

No doubt they will festoon the street with the appalling effort on Clarence Street too. Look at that second image. Awful concrete road surface. Ghastly buildings at the Ormeau Avenue end. Bugger all retail, life, anything along the street. And right at the end, Belfast City Hall. How can such a woeful street be prime in the middle of the city centre?

You look at the decisions being taken by this committee recently, and one thing is quite clear. Having a city centre that is even vaguely visually appealing is no longer a concern. A real shame.
 

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This is honestly one of the most disappointing proposals in a long time. The modern bit of the BBC HQ is highkey one of the single worst examples of Troubles 'architecture' (LOL) in Belfast. And to rub the salt, the BBC are no strangers to getting high profile starchitects to have a go at their HQ designs. At least the square will look alright.
 

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Is part of the issue not the funds available? £25m seems woefully inadequate for the level of revamp required? I had hoped any redevelopment would mean they could vacate the GVS site, not sure this is the case?
 

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If the funds weren't adequate, ideally they'd be better just spending the money on refurbing the original Broadcasting House and waiting until more can be secured to completely replace the rest, although that's probably not a very realistic prospect.

Although on second thought, perhaps that is what they're doing :hmm:
 

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Maybe it's been mentioned on here before and I didn't see it, but I still don't know what's happening in that cordoned off area in Blackstaff Square with what looks like some sort of digger in it.

Next time I'm down, I'll ask and report back.
 

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You look at the decisions being taken by this committee recently, and one thing is quite clear. Having a city centre that is even vaguely visually appealing is no longer a concern. A real shame.
It's appalling and very frustrating, but I think it's just the economic reality of living in an underperforming region of the UK. The politicians, planners and civil servants don't really have the luxury of being picky.

And to rub the salt, the BBC are no strangers to getting high profile starchitects to have a go at their HQ designs.
Is part of the issue not the funds available? £25m seems woefully inadequate for the level of revamp required? I had hoped any redevelopment would mean they could vacate the GVS site, not sure this is the case?
I think those days are over at the BBC, especially in light of the cutbacks going on in the BBC. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the licence fee reformed and the BBC becoming alot more commercial in next 10 years.
 

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I agree it looks like we've missed the boat on a fancy regional hq for the bbc. Itv just about take up two floors in City Quays now. There will be a brutal review into how the bbc spends its money to see if they can afford to go subscription or not. If they are blowing miney on new flagship offices compared to itv cutting to the bone it won't give them a leg to stand on.
 

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It doesn't need to be a fancy Starachitect-designed development. There are some elements that really could have been better designed though.

In fairness £25m doesn't go very far, particularly when we're talking about big spend items relating to improved broadcasting equipment and infrastructure, so they are probably doing the best job they can with very limited funds.

Overall it's disappointing they can't go further but the improvements they are making will benefit the area and most importantly, improves the working environment of BBC employees.
 

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I agree it looks like we've missed the boat on a fancy regional hq for the bbc. Itv just about take up two floors in City Quays now. There will be a brutal review into how the bbc spends its money to see if they can afford to go subscription or not. If they are blowing miney on new flagship offices compared to itv cutting to the bone it won't give them a leg to stand on.
Yep, we're probably 10-15 years too late for a big shiny flagship BBC HQ in Belfast. Also with the whole Irish reunification question being thrown around now, why would the BBC throw upwards of 100 million on a building in Belfast when in 15/20/25/30/who knows years it could be completely surplus to requirements.

TBH I'd rather see the BBC throw millions into making good quality content in Northern Ireland and supporting our local TV and film industry, rather spending 100+ million on making a building look nice from the outside.

Although I do think they could have done alot better with this proposal, but I understand most of the budget is going towards updating their production facilities and systems, rather than the building.
 

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