City Quays is a £250 Million regeneration of Donegall Quay undertaken by Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC) within the Harbour Estate. The project aims to provide a sustainable development of business, retail and leisure use, fronting on to the River Lagan along Donegall Quay from Obel Tower to Clarendon Dock.
Park Hood were appointed by BHC following competitive tender and required to work within a multi-discipline design team for the provision of an upper midscale select service hotel and multi-storey car park to complement separate business and leisure developments.
The brief was to provide an exemplary design, delivering an innovative, unique identity making City Quays a destination in its own right and we achieved this through key elements including:
- Development of a new plaza ‘Waterfront Square’ to form the heart of the project.
- Design for the hotel external areas and riverfront terrace. These included a riverside walkway, promenade and suspended deck areas extending beyond the quay wall over the River
- Areas under the cross-harbour bridge between the River Lagan and Donegall Quay (special attention to security was required under the bridge to develop an appealing space to users particularly after dark).
- Areas around the car
- Consideration for integration with both existing and future planned works and other parts of Belfast City.
Our designs sought to seamlessly re-stitch the city and riverfront together to offer people both the enjoyment and comfort of contemporary work life and access to a vibrant waterfront for fun/recreation. The narrative for our proposal borrowed heavily from the river and the natural processes and movement of water and tidal flow. For example, the paving pattern at Waterfront Square resembles the shifting waves of the river and reinforces the sense of movement along the clear vista between the river and Corporation Square (Belfast). This approach is also applied to the East West connections to bring the development site and River Lagan closer together.
Natural stone paving materials are used throughout the scheme to ensure a sustainable approach to the development with key sections sourced from Ireland to minimise the impacts of production and transportation.
Semi-mature tree stock, including native species have been planted to provide instant impact and maintain scale with the adjacent built development. Two large planted areas have been created on the former car ferry pontoons over the river using roof garden technologies to provide seating areas from which the open views of the River Lagan can be appreciated.