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Squires in, Chapman Taylor out as Belfast mega-project reworked

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Squire & Partners’ design changes to the £500 million transformation of Belfast’s north-eastern quarter will go on public display next week (29 July)

Developer Castlebrooke Investments announced last month it had appointed the AJ100 practice to work on amendments to the outline planning application for Tribeca Belfast and launched a voluntary 10-week consultation ahead of submission of its proposal this autumn.

Chapman Taylor had previously worked on the mixed-use scheme, once billed as ’the largest-ever single redevelopment’ in Belfast city centre (scheme pictured bottom), but is no longer involved in the project.

Castlebrooke Investments appointed Squire & Partners in September last year after shifting its focus from a retail-led scheme.

The practice is working on the urban regeneration scheme alongside conservation architects from Belfast-based Consarc Design Group. The development covers a 5ha site beside St Anne’s Cathedral bounded by Royal Avenue, Donegall Street, Lower Garfield Street and Rosemary Street.

Changes to the previous proposal include plans to bring North Street Arcade back into use in a new format, with a space for independent retailers. The height of an office block on the corner of Rosemary Street and North Street has been reduced from 27 to 10 storeys.

The reworked scheme also includes more green spaces, courtyards and residential space, and greater retention of the historic streetscape of North Street and Donegall Street.

Castlebrooke Investments chief executive Neil Young said the changes demonstrated that the developer had ‘listened to feedback from the city’.

He added: ‘We are working alongside some of the best architects in the world to deliver revised plans which will work for Belfast. Our aim is still to put Belfast at the forefront of British and European cities with a new urban realm which blends the area’s history with state-of-the-art design. We believe that Squire & Partners are the best architects to help us bring this to life.’

Squire & Partners partner Murray Levinson said the practice was excited to be working on creating a new piece of Belfast.

He said: ‘The designs represent an opportunity to retain and repair significant historical buildings across the site, and interweave these with contemporary destinations to reactivate this part of the city. Our architectural approach responds to the varied context by employing a broad palette of materials and typologies to create a cohesive whole.’

Refurbishment work is already underway to preserve the listed Garfield & North building on Lower Garfield Street.

An exhibition detailing the changes to the outline planning application will be open to the public at the former Mackeys Opticians unit at 6-8 North Street, Belfast, on six dates from 29 July. Site walking tours will also be available on four dates in August.

Castlebrooke Belfast city centre regeneration plans Aerial

Castlebrooke Belfast city centre regeneration plans from 2017

Castlebrooke Belfast city centre regeneration plans from 2017

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