An entry to the open competition organised by the Old Museum Arts Centre (OMAC)and supported by The RIBA to design a new purpose built arts centre in Belfast.
The concept comprises of two major design moves which attempt to fulfil the ambitious nature of the vision for OMAC2:
Firstly, the building is elevated from the ground in an attempt to address the elitist stereotype of performance arts centre. The visitor is allowed to wander freely under the building from the direction of St Anne's Square and the Cathedral, and engage with the functions within. The visitor finds themselves within the core of the building before entry requires negotiation. This public lobby from which all other areas of the building can be accessed, attempts to encourage interaction between artists, audiences, participants and public alike.
Secondly, the various functions within the building are cross pollinated and shuffled within the single façade element. These individual entities are strategically placed within the building in an attempt to encourage the various activities that take places to interact and inspire one another. At night, the building is illuminated and the concrete boxes are clearly expressed, emphasising the activity within and both from and internal and external perspective. It is the intention that this more informal arrangement of spaces reflects the quirky nature the OMAC brand, whilst creating an experimental and exciting combination of work performance and leisure. Although separate it is envisaged the visual link between these entities will evoke a creative environment in which all users of the building are included and elevated to the same status.