RSUA Building Tour – Colin Connect Transport Hub & Colin Town Square

Colin Connect Transport Hub & Colin Town Square, designed by Hall McKnight, won the Liam McCormick Prize for Building of the Year, an RSUA Design Award, the Living Places Award, and Richard Dougherty won the Project Architect of the Year Award.  Hall McKnight will give a tour of the building for RSUA members and invited guests.


A small transport hub on the edge of the city of Belfast, a seemingly unremarkable brief in an equally unexceptional suburban context. A site next to a busy road devoid of any sense the city or the civic.

The building, albeit benefiting from a very generous budget, is constructed to last. It is effectively a double concrete shell, the inner shell tinted a pinkish terracotta, with thick granite cladding to all the elevations. The building form adopts a generous attitude to the community, convex facades to the new square to the north and to Stewartstown Road invite entry and engagement. Large red granite framed windows look out to hill and square respectively.

The strength of the architecture will inevitably be tested as the building is more actively occupied by both client and community. Already signage and fittings out with the architect’s influence have begun to litter the internal spaces. The building and the architect however are strong enough not to be undermined by this accrual of the everyday.