Raidió Fáilte’s new headquarters (Líonra Uladh) is a state-of-the-art building boasting the most up to date broadcasting equipment as well as the most amazing views of Belfast.
Cleary Contracting acted as the principle building contractors for the project. The project involved some innovative building techniques for both the design and function of the building.
As a radio station the acoustics of the rooms are of utmost importance. So much so that in the recording studios of the building, no walls are at exact right angles. The technique is used to avoid feedback when recording.
Each recording studio is almost “a room within a room”. The studios have an internal wall and external wall. And internal windows as well as external windows – another design feature to reduce exterior noise.
The site of the new building is at one of Belfast’s busiest junctions, where Divis Street meets the Westlink. Previously an area of high social deprivation and “a hub for antisocial behaviour”, the award winning Raidió Fáilte building has become a leading example of how design, client passion and strategic vision can deliver real and lasting community benefit.
Previously an area of high social deprivation and “a hub for antisocial behaviour”, the award winning Raidió Fáilte building has become a leading example of how design, client passion and strategic vision can deliver real and lasting community benefit.
RICS Community Benefit Award
The Judges at RICS were impressed by the Raidió Fáilte team’s clear commitment to community engagement and enrichment programmes, facilitated by their new building.
The building appears as a small tower marking this critical point in the city. It is brick externally with gold anodised perforated sliding screens which close the building up at night.
During the day the screens slide to reveal a popular café on the ground floor. Internally the building is surprisingly light filled. The tower is carefully and efficiently planned, adopting clever strategies in order to open up the single stair to the rest of the floors.
An interesting tidbit in the news today with Translink announcing that Belfast Central Station is to be renamed “Lanyon Place” following a programme of refurbishment due to be completed in September. From the press release :
The Lanyon Place area has become a major hub of activity, with the ‘Lanyon’ name being adopted by a range of neighbouring businesses, alongside Belfast City Council’s exciting plans for the Lanyon Tunnels.
‘We consulted with a range of local stakeholders regarding this name change, and Lanyon Place made sense in order to provide more clarity on where the station is geographically located within the city. We plan to phase the new name in over the coming months, with the official name change introduced from September when the works are due to be completed.
The renaming of the station breaks with a little piece of tradition that is not well understood by Belfast residents and visitors alike – who often ask “why is it called Belfast Central when it isn’t in any way central ?”
The answer lies in the long and fractured history of the railways in Belfast. Back in the Victorian era, when the railways were being constructed under what was then a kind of dot-com boom, private sector investors were building railways all over the place, subject to little control other than soft-touch parliamentary authorisation. In Belfast, there were three separate and unconnected railway terminii, all of them grand, opulent structures reflecting the huge amounts of capital being poured into their construction, and the prestige the new railway companies felt their stations and routes ought to have.
Only a few weeks ago, the last remaining (visible) part of the original York Road railway station – the Midland Building, previously known as the Midland Hotel – was quietly demolished. This was originally the part of terminus of what started life as the Belfast and Ballymena Railway Company in 1848. This enormous station and its associated yards and facilities stretched to the north and west from York Road all the way across to Duncrue Street. Later, the original company was subsumed by the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway, until it was taken over by the GB-based London Midland and Scotland railway, who subsumed it under the name “Northern Counties Committee”.
The LMS-NCC controlled one of the two major routes serving Derry out of Belfast as well as innumerable branch lines along the way, and supervised what would turn out to be the last major railway construction project anywhere on the island of Ireland for nearly a century – the Bleach Green-Monkstown bridge and direct curve, in the early 1930s.
The Belfast Royal Academy is a voluntary grammar school, the oldest and most historic school in Belfast. The Crombie building is a B1 listed building, originally constructed in 1880, was given some much needed TLC by Cleary Contracting Ltd.
Client Name: Belfast Royal Academy
Repairs and restoration to the historic Crombie Tower a Grade B1 listed building. The scope of works included sandstone replacement of failed stones on 35m tower, upgrade of lightening conductors on main roof, new railings and fencing at Crombie Tower base. Repairs to louvre vents on main tower, installation of Cintec anchors to support fan tail debris fencing on rear elevation, installation of debris netting on rear return of tower over play ground area.
Project Details: The complete upgrade of passenger services at 23 stations & halts throughout rail network, this involved new surfacing on every platform, the installation of passenger lifts in Lisburn & Botanic Stations. Internally in Portadown, Lurgan, Lisburn and Botanic Stations new DDA compliant Ticket & Help Desks were constructed with removal of the existing and alterations required to internal offices to accommodate new works, these stations all remained operational for the duration of the works. With both the staff and members of the public alongside the ongoing works, our approach to managing the public and staff were paramount to the works being carried out safely and was essential to the successful completion of the works on-time.
Location: 23 railway stations on the Belfast – Bangor line and Belfast – Border line
The fall Road Metro workshop is now complete, with a complete refurbishment carried out by Cleary Contracting Ltd. Alongside the removal of Asbestos from the original roofing.
Client Name: Translink
Project Details: Removal of asbestos roofing and e-roofing of the existing maintenance building, refurbishment and alterations to the office areas, construction of new service pits and renewal of the concrete floor, new internal division wall, associated mechanical and electrical works. The building was in operation for the duration of the works and work was carried out in a phased basis to facilitate the clients operational requirements. We liaised with the clients representatives on site to ensure that the proposed programming of the building operations did not adversely affect the clients requirements for the normal running of the building.
Location: Falls Road, Belfast
Architect: Connell Mott MacDonald 40 Linen Hall Street Belfast BT2 8BA
With the help of Cleary Contracting Ltd, The Glassblowing Workshop in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering can now provide highly skilled specialist design, manufacturing and repair service to teaching and research within the School, University and outside agencies.
Client Name: Queens University Belfast
The project was completed within the David Kier Building. The building remained occupied throughout the course of the works and the works were phased to allow the staff to relocate whilst the works took place. The project was heavily influenced with mechanical and electrical services and planned shutdowns/changeover’s were key to the success of the project. The finishes within the main teaching lab included Altro Resin floor finishes and Threspa fitted furniture work stations for students.
Duration of contract: 6 months
Location: University Road, Belfast
Architect: Ostick & Williams Belfast
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