Ceramic Tile Factory, Workshops and Classrooms
The site is along the waterfront, adjoining Barrow’s Square in Sailortown to the river, accessible from all sides. The new activities within will bring more people to the area, whilst also providing an open public place for residents. Barrow’s Square is to become an open green, public park for those who live in Sailortown, and green spaces within the building’s boundary extend the park through the site and towards the river, reinforcing Sailortown’s connection to the water.
A proposed new footbridge bridge extends from across the Lagan to Sailortown, with pedestrians arriving at the north side of the site. Entrances and circulation throughout the site are defined by the street’s municipal lines and the new expected footfall from the bridge. More options of how to travel through the building create more opportunity for residents and visitors to meet and interact.
Sailortown’s proximity to the waterfront means there is a risk of future flooding and raising the majority of the facilities above ground level means that the impact of a future flood is reduced. The public spaces on the ground floor can open up, making it a permeable public space. The different zones of the space can be used for various events such as community workshops, markets, exhibitions or just as a place for residents to meet and spend time together.
The building is composed of a timber frame wrapped in rectangular terracotta tiles with triangular cut-outs. From afar, the building looks to be alike the majority of the red brick urban fabric in Belfast, particularly similar to old industrial buildings and factories. When closure to the building, the detail of the tiled cladding is revealed, with all facades having different characteristics throughout the day as a result of light, shadows and weathering. Merging the outside with the inside, the tiles run across the glazing in the facade, providing privacy but also allowing sufficient light to enter the building, whilst the movements of the factory and workshops are visible to the public during the day and at night.