Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Victoria's poor show

Belfast now has the spanking new Victoria Square shopping centre which has its good and bad points in terms of urban design.

But how does Belfast choose to announce this cathedral to commerce in terms of public realm? Very badly.

Although the new paving units are an improvement on the bitmac in Anne Street, to lay them in a diagonal pattern across Arthur Square is a missed opportunity to recreate the streetscape tradtional to a conservation area.

Applying a traditional street structure would have involved larger paving units to footpaths with lines of granite kerbstones with smaller setts to delinate the former road surface.

A sculpture should have been placed as a landmark.

Similarly, street furniture should be appropriate to a street context and draw reference from Belfast's past. Artists impressions for the rest of the city centre appear to be appropriate for anywhere from Baltimore waterfront to Salford Quays.

Belfast deserves a unique scheme that will improve the image and identity of the city for natives and visitors alike.



CRAIG McCLAY

Belfast