CPD in Context: ‘Risky buildings and sacred spaces’, and what we can learned from Belfast

people and buildingIn Context issue 156 (on the Annual School) tour delegates provided an overview of their thoughts on the Thursday tours, in some cases offering food for thought on adapting buildings for changes in use, and asking how we can do this sensitively and creatively?

image: Context 156

Devon Decelles reviewed the tour on rescuing buildings at risk led by staff in the School Friend, Ulster Architectural Heritage, chief executive Nikki McVeigh, and Connie Gerrow, its heritage-at-risk officer, while David Bevan reviewed the tour or shared sacred spaces led by Paul Harron, Church of Ireland press officer.

In central Belfast, delegates were treated to a view of two Presbyterian Churches, a Roman Catholic Church, a Church of Ireland Parish Church and a Church of Ireland Cathedral, admiring the beautiful architecture and well cared for spaces, whilst also learning about adaptations within a cathedral which now provided a coffee shop and a church which now provided a home to an arts organisation.

Devon describes how community efforts have often been key to bringing buildings once at risk back into use, noting “the importance (and delight) of interim uses for buildings, with an open mind towards creativity. Through experimenting and testing different uses, both charitable and commercial, an informed plan of repair can be gained, securing a future use for the building, which could even simply be further meanwhile or pop-up uses”

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