Belfast Campus expansion adds 75,000sq m of new space after 12-year programme

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has completed its 12-year Belfast Campus project for Ulster University, which has created city-centre space for 16,000 students and staff relocated from the institution’s 1970s suburban base at Jordanstown

The first phase of the project – the university’s art and architecture school – finished in 2015, however work on other phases continued until September last year. 

FCBS said the programme, which has delivered 75,000sq m of new space for staff and students, would have been large for any city. But it said that the result for Belfast was “a whole new relationship” between the city’s educational institutions and the city itself.

The practice originally secured planning permission for the Belfast Campus in 2013, at which time the projcet budget was £250m.

It describes the project as a “vertical campus” because of the main building’s 14 occupied floors. Faculty and administrative offices are organised one above the other around receptions, meeting rooms, conventional and shared offices and kitchenettes. The large south-facing façade gives views across the city and nearby hills.


Source: Donal

A three-storey “urban porch” signals the main entrance to the campus on York Street. Beyond the glazed threshold, a concourse runs the length of the main building connecting visitors and students to cafés, lecture theatres, exhibition spaces and entrances onto other streets and lanes.

A grand stair built from the same stone as the main concourse ascends past the library, student union and classrooms clad in glass, concrete, and painted wall panels. The stair turns back on itself and terminates at the base of a timber and glass clad atrium. It is one of four atria that are like urban squares in plan, that aid in navigation and organisation, and also bring in natural light.


Source: Donal McCann

Ulster University’s Belfast campus, by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Ulster University pro-vice chancellor Prof Alastair Adair said the new campus would give the institution new focus and strengthen its standing.

“The project is firstly about education, research and collaboration; collaboration between academics, students, community, industry and government,” he said.

“Our research and educational agendas will continue to foster growth in Northern Ireland. The new building multiplies our impact as it takes its place in both in the city and in the region.”


Source: FCBS

Project Data (phase two)

Lead architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Local architect partner: McAdam Design

Civil & structural engineer: Mott MacDonald

M&E engineer: Mott MacDonald

Landscape architect: Grant Associates (design phase); Paul Hogarth Company (construction phase)

Planning consultant: Juno Planning

Project manager: Currie & Brown/WH Stephens

Cost manager: E C Harris

CDM coordinator: Faithful and Gould

Acoustic engineer: Sandy Brown Associates

Fire engineer: Jensen Hughes (formerly JGA Fire)

BREEAM assessor: Arup

Inclusive access consultants: David Bonnett Associates

Project manager: Currie & Brown/WH Stephens

Cost manager: WH Stephens

Main contractor: Sacyr Somague / Lagan Somague JV