Belfast Telegraph

RICS Awards night 2017 - pictures and list of winners

Belfast's 'sore on the shore' Waterfront Hall lifts top building award

By Rachel Martin

It was dubbed the 'sore on the shore', but the Waterfront Hall's controversial £30m extension has won an award.

Despite being heavily criticised, the add-on scooped a major honour at a construction industry awards event in Belfast last night, landing the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) commercial project title.

The judging panel commended the scheme, saying it was set for big things.

"Although built to a cost of £29.5m, in its first six months of operation the facility delivered 15 major conferences, including 16,540 delegate days, generating an economic impact for the city of £9.5m - a figure which is anticipated will rise to £45m by 2020/21 when the venue reaches its full potential," it said.

Girdwood Community Hub in north Belfast also attracted praise and was named the Northern Ireland project of the year. Judges said of the scheme, which was built in a former army base: "When Belfast City Council stepped in with the ambitious cross-community hub concept, it seemed a noble but impossible idea. Yet in the two years since opening it is in full use by all communities, it has opened previously blockaded streets and peace walls and created a positive ripple effect."

Student accommodation project John Bell House won the award for building conservation, while the community benefit award went to The Junction in Dungannon.

Queen's University's main site tower and Peter Froggatt Centre won the award for design through innovation, while Bishop's Gate Hotel in Londonderry took the award for tourism and leisure.

Stoneyford Integrated Constructed Wetland was named the infrastructure winner, North Queen Street in Belfast was given the award for regeneration and Dublin Road apartment complex The Gallery scooped best residential project.

In Omagh, Arvalee School and Resource Centre was highly commended in the design through innovation category.

Meadowvale Court in Lisburn was praised in the residential category and Brooke Park in Co Derry for community benefit.

In the regeneration category, the refurbished Manor House on Rathlin Island was highly commended.

The eight category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS awards grand final in November later this year for the chance to be crowned overall UK winners.

Award Winners

Building Conservation – John Bell House, Belfast

Commercial – Waterfront Hall, Belfast

Community Benefit – The Junction, Dungannon

Design Through Innovation – Main site tower and Peter Froggatt Centre, Queen’s University Belfast

Infrastructure – Stoneyford Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW)

Regeneration – North Queen Street, Belfast

Residential – The Gallery, Belfast

Tourism & Leisure – Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry~Londonderry

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