Built: East Pavilion

Built: East by OGU & Donald McCrory

Built: East Pavilion

Built: East is a public pavilion that brings together both historical and present-day manufacturing innovations of its East Belfast location. The pavilion was the winning proposal in the 2017 Belfast Flare competition, run by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects together with JP Corry and EastSide Partnership.

Built: East by OGU & Donald McCrory
Built: East by OGU & Donald McCrory
Built: East by OGU & Donald McCrory
Built: East by OGU & Donald McCrory

Built: East is a public pavilion that brings together both historical and present-day manufacturing innovations of its East Belfast location. The pavilion was the winning proposal in the 2017 Belfast Flare competition, run by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects together with JP Corry and EastSide Partnership.

The competition asked entrants to create a “structure of beauty, intrigue and inspiration – a place and space that both locals and visitors will want to experience.” In their response to the brief, architects Rachel O’Grady, Chris Upson and Donald McCrory drew upon ambitions of previous local architectural projects, including the iconic Belfast Truss: a curved lattice timber roof structure.

First developed around 1860 to meet the demand for wide-span industrial buildings, the Belfast Truss was typically made from waste timber from the city’s ship building industry. It went on to become a ubiquitous feature of Belfast’s factories, hangars and other industrial buildings.

The incorporation of a Belfast Truss into the Built: East pavilion recalls a local history of manufacturing ingenuity and resourceful use of material. Rather than a nostalgic look backwards, the project draws attention to Northern Ireland’s emerging construction innovation. By reimagining past methods, the project combines traditional craft skills with advanced technologies to create bespoke components that could be rapidly assembled on site.

Since its opening in 2019, the pavilion has been used for bike workshops, live music, children’s art classes and an exhibition displaying the research, history and craftsmanship behind the project. It has helped to draw people to a disadvantaged part of the city and is an inspiring example of the large impact that a small public project can have.

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