Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 May 2015

Belfast ‘in danger of losing its identity’

Future look: An artist’s impression of redevelopment work close to St Anne’s Cathedral
Future look: An artist’s impression of redevelopment work close to St Anne’s Cathedral

Belfast's city centre is in grave danger of losing its distinctive appearance ,which will result in it looking just like any other city in the world, an architectural charity has warned.

Launching the new Ireland chapter of the International Network for Traditional, Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), charity chairman Robert Adam appealed to architects to design buildings that incorporated the city’s identity.

“One of the key issues at the minute in the modern world is that all places are starting to look the same. Eventually that starts to take away the identity of individual cities,” he said.

“Walking through the streets, there are a lot of traditional buildings and it couldn’t be anywhere but the British Isles.

“You recognise very quickly that you are in Belfast, but this distinctiveness is disappearing very quickly around the world.”

Even the new Victoria Square development, where the chapter was launched, is not ideal, according to Mr Adam.

“It’s good architecture but the problem is it could be anywhere,” he said.

“There’s nothing that tells me I am in Belfast, I could be anywhere in the world.”

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