Context 156 - September 2018

16 C O N T E X T 1 5 6 : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 Thursday 21 June Thursday tours which is named after its architect Sir Charles Lanyon and forms the entrance to the distinctive quadrangle, based on the traditional Oxbridge colleges across the Irish Sea, had seen decades of alterations and often unsympathetic works. A period of restoration has followed, which has included extensive and complex works to repair the numerous windows. Queen’s University Belfast and its historic environs: conservation and development for education Led by Dawson Stelfox and John Savage, Consarc Design Group Dawson Stellfox (see Vox pop, page 49) and John Savage provided an extensive tour through the history of their conservation project of the landmark buildings at Queen’s University Belfast. The conservation project, which is still continuing, has been led by Consarc Design Group over the past two decades. The tour not only took in the fantastic Anglican architecture of Queen’s, but it also posed pertinent ques- tions relating to conservation philosophies and practices when placed into the real world of a bustling university. This included what might be called the Queen’s Paradox. The university, which is principally located within Belfast’s first conservation area and is one of the largest owners of listed buildings in Northern Ireland, was one of the initiators of a fully formed conservation movement in the country following its decision to demolish a number of buildings in the 1960s, helping to instigate the formation of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Trust and the listing process. Happily, the university now takes its role as the guardian of some of the most impor- tant historic buildings in Belfast seriously, with the current conservation works to the Lanyon Building a fine example of this. The building, The Lanyon Building, Queens University: the replacement windows blend perfectly (Photo: Claire Gayle) Delegate Claire Gayle holding one of the unusual zinc window sections