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RIBA design competition: Andersonstown Expo Centre, west Belfast

The RIBA is inviting architect-led design teams to compete to design a £12 million regeneration-focused ‘expo centre’ on the site of a former police station in west Belfast, Northern Ireland

The centre is planned as a place to showcase the district’s regeneration, setting, it is hoped, a ‘new standard’ in terms of innovation and design. Daniel Libeskind will chair the judging panel.

It will be built on a triangle-shaped site at the junction of Falls Road and Glen Road overlooking a cemetery. Andersontown police barracks previously occupied the land but was demolished in 2005.

The ‘imposing’ fortress featured a watchtower and barbed wire fences. An IRA car bomb exploded in May 1983 at the station causing an estimated £1 million worth of damage.

Alex Attwood, Northern Ireland’s minister for social development, said: ‘We’re looking for a first-rate design that the local community can value and be proud of.

‘I want a building that meets the design brief in a creative way – with flexible spaces for regeneration, the arts and local services and with local people central to the project.’

A five-strong shortlist of teams will be invited to produce designs with each receiving a £6,000 (excluding VAT) honorarium.

Practices with ‘insufficient resources’ are encouraged to team up with a delivery architect, if appropriate.

The project is backed by the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development’s Belfast Regeneration Office, West Belfast Partnership Board (WBPB) and PLACE the Architecture & Built Environment Centre.

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