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February 24, 2010

Libeskind to chair Andersonstown barracks site competition

Northern Ireland Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie today announced that leading world architect Daniel Libeskind will chair a design competition at the former Andersonstown barracks site. Mr Libeskind, an American architect, artist, and set designer will be lending his professional expertise to the design competition which will transform the former Andersonstown’s Police Station.

Speaking about Mr Libeskind’s involvement, Margaret Ritchie said: “It is a terrific reflection on an exciting project that one of the world’s leading architects has agreed to become involved in the EXPO West design competition. Mr Libeskind’s advice in developing a brief for the site and assessing entries will be invaluable, and I believe his involvement in the competition will attract world-class architecture and design teams. Like me, Mr Libeskind is committed to building a thriving and confident Belfast and to involving the local community in design proposals for their area.”

Mr Libeskind, who recently received an honorary degree from the University of Ulster in recognition of his outstanding services to global architecture and design, commented: “I am very excited that EXPO West Design competition in Belfast will become an extraordinary example of world class architecture and urban design. With the powerful history of the site, the project is committed to the meaningful revitalization of Belfast.”

The Minister, who has called for a landmark building on this site, has asked PLACE, the Northern Ireland Centre for Architecture and the Built Environment, to gather local people’s views on its future design and use. Over the coming weeks, PLACE will be organising a series of meetings in cooperation with the West Belfast Partnership Board. To have your say or to find out more, log on to http://www.expowestbelfast.com

The Director of PLACE Michael Hegarty said: “PLACE is delighted that DSD are showing commitment to creating high quality architecture and approaching this development in such an inclusive way with real public engagement in the local area around the site. Mr Libeskind’s interest and involvement shows the high level of international interest in the regeneration of Northern Ireland. He is perhaps the most celebrated architect currently working globally and he wants to ensure both a thorough process and a high quality end result for the development.”