Award-winning Accoya pavilion in Belfast celebrates city’s heritage

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The Built: East Pavilion project began life in 2017 as a design concept, put forwards by OGU Architects and Donald McCrory Architects for The Belfast Flare competition. The design contest, held by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, offered £30,000 for a semi-permanent pop-up pavilion in east Belfast, with the judges asking for ‘beautiful, intriguing and inspirational’ proposals.

The Built: East Pavilion entry took the top prize, and was praised for celebrating the rich industrial heritage of the city, including taking inspiration from the local history of the site by referencing waste shipbuilding timber.

To bring their winning vision to life, OGU Architects and Donald McCrory Architects approached us and our sister company, merchants JP Corry – who were also sponsors of The Belfast Flare competition.

The pop-up pavilion was constructed from sustainable and versatile AccoyaⓇ, a highly reliable and durable timber that does not swell, shrink or distort, and can last in climate for more than 50 years. It also has unrivalled sustainability, with FSC® and Cradle to Cradle Gold™ certification.

We supported with advice on sourcing the most practical sawn sections, working closely alongside the technical team at Accsys to maximise on the Accoya’s properties. The raw materials were then sent to JP Corry for onward delivery to a local joinery company, Big Picture Joinery, that machined and manufactured the structure.

Using the off-site approach, the structure of the pavilion was manufactured and tested in the factory, before moving to the site for assembly. Following completion, the project won many fans, including winning the ‘Small Projects’ category at the Wood Awards 2021.

David Hogg of International Timber said: “I’m so pleased with the outcome of this project, and that it has since been recognised at the Wood Awards for its unique design. A lot of hard work went into supporting the architects to select the most practical timber sections, balancing aesthetics and cost-effectiveness and the project went really smoothly.”

Chris Upson, Director at OGU Architects, said: “The design was our winning entry in a pavilion design competition run by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects and sponsored by JP Corry. The aim was to support design culture and emerging architecture practices in the city. It was fantastic to see our vision come to life, and the result is a striking architectural asset to Belfast that will be enjoyed by many for a long time to come.”

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