The Royal Society of Ulster Architects’ (RSUA) annual Building Inspiration Lecture is a public talk in Belfast delivered by one of the world’s leading architects or leading architectural practices. In 2019 it was delivered by Daniel Libeskind of Studio Libeskind at the Whitla Hall, Queen’s University Belfast, and was supported by ARUP and Belfast City Council.
The aim of the lecture is to raise people’s aspirations of what architecture can do for this region. It is an opportunity to inspire local architects and to engage clients, policy makers, politicians and the public. This year the event formed part of a month-long series of events across the island of Ireland promoting architecture under the umbrella of #Architober.
Libeskind established his architectural studio in Berlin in 1989 after winning a competition to build the Jewish Museum in the city. In February 2003, Studio Libeskind moved its headquarters from Berlin to New York when Libeskind was selected as the master planner for the World Trade Center redevelopment. Libeskind’s practice is involved in designing and realising a diverse array of urban, cultural and commercial projects internationally. In Northern Ireland, Libeskind designed the proposed Peace building and Conflict Resolution Centre (PbCRC) at the Maze Long Kesh site. Whilst the project received planning approval in 2013 it has not yet proceeded due to an ongoing political logjam.
Libeskind in Belfast
During his visit to Belfast, Daniel Libeskind spoke to the BBC about architecture as the connective tissue between our past, our present, and our future and power it has to improve the built environment. He also gave an interview to the Irish Times about MIPIM and his participation in further developing the built environment in Belfast.
Daniel and Nina Libeskind also undertook a walking tour of potential sites for the Belfast Story which is being led on by Belfast City Council, specifically considering locations in the Inner North West of the city. This was followed by a meeting with ARUP to discuss major infrastructure projects they are currently working on including the Belfast Transport Hub.
After the walkabout and his visit to ARUP Daniel Libeskind gave his lecture. The event was attended by over 500 members of the public, architects, clients, policymakers and students. The lecture started with a drinks reception and finished with a Q&A with Daniel Libeskind, who also signed copies of his book afterwards.
After an introduction by Joan McCoy, RSUA President, Daniel Libeskind delivered his public lecture entitled “Edge of Order”
The Building Inspiration Lecture has been delivered previously by Snohetta and Jim Heverin of Zaha Hadid Architects.
The 2019 Building Inspiration Lecture was sponsored by ARUP and Belfast City Council.