James Connolly Visitor Centre
Fáilte Feirste Thiar purchased a derelict building on the Falls Road within 100m of the former home of James Connolly to deliver the legacy of Connolly in the heart of West Belfast’s Gaeltacht Quarter. Its aim is to educate and advise, through a varied and enriched learning experience, the local population and international visitors.
The project entails the adaptation and extension of an existing twin terrace building. It was important to McGurk Architects to preserve the material worth of the existing building by stitching new uses and activities into the spaces and buildings of the existing city fabric as an ecological alternative to the destruction and rebuilding of derelict buildings.
Utilising existing structure where possible, the design adapts and alters the internal layout to fit the exhibition, conference, learning, and café spaces within. The main external feature of the building is the curtain-wall, cladded in perforated corten steel, which illustrates the face of James Connolly. This “street art” achieves a seamless building finish, while appearing as a lantern of light in the streetscape at night.