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Libeskind and McAdam scoop planning for Maze prison peace centre


Daniel Libeskind has won permission for an £18 million peace centre on the site of Northern Ireland’s former Maze Prison

The starchitect is collaborating with Belfast-based McAdam Design on the scheme for the infamous site which will provide a shared space to support the work of peace building organisations and agencies in the region. 

Daniel Libeskind said: ‘It is truly meaningful to build a hope-filled common ground, to tell individual stories and to do so at Maze Long Kesh.’

The project funded through an £18 million grant by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme, also includes the conservation of the H6 prison block, the prison hospital, emergency control building and chapel, alongside the new peace centre.

Pat Colgan, chief executive of the Special EU Programmes Body, which manages the PEACE III Programme, said: ‘This project represents one of the largest single capital build investments in peace-building under the current PEACE Programme.

‘Upon completion it will create an internationally recognised centre of excellence that will enable us to share our unique experiences of peace and reconciliation across the world. ‘

The former prison site will also feature an international standard showground facility for the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society designed by Studio Egret West.

The building is set to complete in 2015.  


Readers' comments (4)

  • Sadly, this is another case of a site of tragedy being usurped by a buffoon for personal and professional gain. Barely six months ago, Daniel Libeskind rolled out a near identical scheme for an extension to his Jewish Museum project in Berlin. The cliched distorted trapezoidal forms that supposedly embodied the essence of Jewish history in Germany are here rebranded to memorialize the struggles of Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. The paucity of thought that informed this pathetic and ignorant design is evident in the childish scribble Libeskind mistakes for a serious architectural presentation.

    Libeskind's very presence in Ireland makes a mockery of lives lost in that strugle. His thoughtless and formulaic design proposal insults the intellegence of those still living and will be an embarrassment to the memory of those who died.

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  • I completely agree with the previous opinion , Ted Harris , this kind of nonsense is going on worldwide , this country is full of very able sensitive architects , why do we need more of this kind of behaviour , the recent scheme by R Piano for Ronchamp shows just how bad things like this can get !

    John Meagher .

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  • David Rushe

    Soulless, lifeless, thoughtless, uninspiring, all words that really should not describe a site and potential building to narrate this dark period of Irish history but the above images not only embrace them but embody them.

    When you have architects like Hall McKnight, Ciaran Mackel, Grafton Architects, O'Donnell Tuomey to name but a few at your disposal (some on your doorstep) The aforementioned architects understand history, context, culture, memory and grain, Mr Libeskind or Mr Copy and Paste does not.

    A truly horrific appointment in the first place is strengthened further with this truly shocking and disrespectful proposal. This is a complete smack in the face to all who lived during and are now left with the memories of the H Blocks and the Troubles.

    Libeskind and messrs McAdam Design (I presume the "Design" title is for chuckles) are merely trampling on those memories with this banal, unsympathetic, contextually devoid recycled design.


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  • Difficult to judge on the scanty images provided whether Libeskind's signature style will bring something poetic, memorable or meaningful to this highly charged site. I'd be interested to see the plan for the huge area the Maze occupied and hear how this will fit into a wider plan for renewal.

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