Speculative commercial office space is rarely the stuff of awards. The basic brief is straightforward if not banal that is create clear efficient open space. There is little room for invention or complexity. Added to that mix, in terms of Belfast, are comparatively low rental values.
The jury were very impressed by the skill and enthusiasm that the architects had brought to this ubiquitous brief. They were assisted in this ambition by their client, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, who understood the potential of this particular site on the waterfront. The building addresses the dock edge with commercial units at the ground floor thereby adding activity and colour to the waterfront walkway.
The architecture is concerned with simplicity, legibility and efficiency. The building enjoys generous clear span spaces and full height glazing to all facades. The architects have directed their honed design skills on creating a handsome building with fine proportions and direct high quality detailing. The building achieved a BREEAM excellent rating which is all the more impressive given the challenging budget rates.