James Connolly Visitor Centre
The James Connolly Visitor Centre is an opportunity to develop and inform on the legacy of James Connolly while developing the infrastructure of the West Belfast tourism product. The project involves the development of a derelict building on the Falls Road, Belfast. Through the adaptation of this existing building, the new visitor centre will provide new spaces for discovery, education, study, work, meeting and socialising for both local and international visitors. The brick work of the existing building will be retained while a new extension and roof coupled with new openings in the building’s envelope allow a new lease life to the building. The adaptive reuse of this derelict building maximises the potential of the local area; exploiting panoramic views over Belfast, capitalising upon its position along a busy street and inserting new resources and facilities into the area. What was a run down street corner will been brought to life with a corten steel extension which is perforated to depict Connolly’s face while letting light dissipate into the large open reception area. Materials have been selected to reference Belfast’s industrial heritage, such as shipbuilding and the industrial workers whose lives were improved due to James Connolly’s campaigning.