Implosion of Belfast's 'sixties' architecture…

Occasional Slugger contributor Rebecca Black has kindly sent us this clip of the Churchill House demolition in the centre of Belfast last month, and clearly with a degree of undisguised glee: “…one of Belfast tallest and most ugly buildings removed”. For some of us older ones, it conjures a first glimpse of the city centre on the bus into Oxford Street and early memories of a Belfast Christmas. Oh, the nostalgia…

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Now THAT could have been a more productive form of visible decommissioning – IRA gets to put its Semtex beyond use, and everyone else gets a big shopping centre!

  • George

    I have never seen this building in the flesh, at least I don’t remember it. Had it no architectural merit whatsoever? I would be wary of slamming all recent buildings.
    In a few years we might actually like them…

  • Rebecca Black

    oh come on, it was one of the ugliest if not the ugliest building on the belfast skyline!!

    There are plenty of beautiful buildings in the city centre but this one was certainly not one of them.

    However the video of it coming down is kinda spooky, reminds me of the footage of 9/11.

  • George

    As bad as Hawkins House in Dublin Rebecca? If so, then absolutely, get rid of it.

  • Fraggle

    Rebecca, is that you in the backgrounf soundtrack?

  • Fraggle

    background

  • Rebecca Black

    hehe, nope fraggle, I wasn’t there, I got the footage by e-mail from a friend who used to work in the building.

    George

    wheres hawkins house in Dublin?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Churchill House won’t be missed but the demise of the Kitchen Bar was a tragedy.

    Always thought Belfast’s cityscape was kinda weird. You still have a handful of very tall buildings (one less now though) punctuating a cityscape full of gaping holes, when filling out the city’s streets with lower-level developments would surely be more appropriate. It’s as if the city planners just wanted the city to have a few skyscrapers. As though having a few buildings over 20 stories makes Belfast like Manhattan – when in fact it just detracts from the buzz factor on the streets.

  • Fraggle

    the ‘belfast buzz’.

    I remember that ad campaign for belfast that probably scared people away for fear of STDs.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I’d say Windsor House is pretty ugly.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Which one is Windsor House?

    I’d say that concrete block on Great Victoria Street, beside the Shell garage at the bottom of Shaftesbury Square takes some beating. Is it the ugliest building in Belfast?

    Conversely, which is the most beautiful? There are quite a few contenders.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Billy

    That’s Fanum House you’re referring to, home of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and local base for the Irish Times and other media outlets.

    Windsor House is on Bedford Street, and is home to the British Irish Secretariat, among others.

    Yes I am full of useless information.

  • peteb

    Yes I am full of useless information.

    ..among other things, Gonzo.. among other things.

    Oops.. did I say that out loud? 😉

  • Gerry O’Sullivan

    Rebecca

    wheres hawkins house in Dublin?

    Hawkins House is in Hawkins Street (the one that goes down the side of the Screen Cinema, near Trinity.) It’s the home of the Department of Health and Children.

    In 1998, readers of Architecture Ireland Online voted it Dublin’s worst building.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Windsor House is the tallest building in Belfast, and is a contender for the tallest building on the island of Ireland (I guess it’s either that or the county building in Cork city). It can’t be missed – stand beside the Apartment bar at City Hall and look in the Dublin Road direction – Windsor is the really really tall building on the right.

    Churchill House was built by the Post Office and was laterally owned by BT (you’ll remember that the post office used to run the telephone network before BT was spun off and privatized). Much of their software engineering centre was there until they moved to Riverside Tower (the big bt.com building everyone knows about).

    George, Churchill was probably worse than Liberty Hall. Concrete, drab and dull, like something Caucescu might have built.

    Billy, completely agree. There’s a new Kitchen Bar with a traditional style to it but it’ll never be the same as the original one. I don’t think there were any city planners in the 1960s, the place is a complete mess.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Hawkins House is in Hawkins Street (the one that goes down the side of the Screen Cinema, near Trinity.) It’s the home of the Department of Health and Children.”

    ah yes, I know that building, its more modern than churchill house and in fact churchill house was more ugly than Hawkins House!!

    December 13, 2004
    Implosion of Belfast’s ‘sixties’ architecture…
    Occasional Slugger contributor Rebecca Black has kindly sent us this clip of the Churchill House demolition in the centre of Belfast last month, and clearly with a degree of undisguised glee: “…one of Belfast tallest and most ugly buildings removed”. For some of us older ones, it conjures a first glimpse of the city centre on the bus into Oxford Street and early memories of a Belfast Christmas. Oh, the nostalgia…

    Mick Fealty @ 13 December 2004 04:15 PM
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    TrackBack URL
    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/cgi-bin/sluggermt/mt-tb.cgi/851
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    Comments (15)

    Now THAT could have been a more productive form of visible decommissioning – IRA gets to put its Semtex beyond use, and everyone else gets a big shopping centre!

    Posted by: Belfast Gonzo at December 13, 2004 04:44 PM
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    I have never seen this building in the flesh, at least I don’t remember it. Had it no architectural merit whatsoever? I would be wary of slamming all recent buildings.
    In a few years we might actually like them…

    Posted by: George at December 13, 2004 05:39 PM
    ————————————————————————

    oh come on, it was one of the ugliest if not the ugliest building on the belfast skyline!!

    There are plenty of beautiful buildings in the city centre but this one was certainly not one of them.

    However the video of it coming down is kinda spooky, reminds me of the footage of 9/11.

    Posted by: Rebecca Black at December 13, 2004 05:43 PM
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    As bad as Hawkins House in Dublin Rebecca? If so, then absolutely, get rid of it.

    Posted by: George at December 13, 2004 05:55 PM
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    Rebecca, is that you in the backgrounf soundtrack?

    Posted by: Fraggle at December 13, 2004 05:55 PM
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    background

    Posted by: Fraggle at December 13, 2004 05:58 PM
    ————————————————————————

    hehe, nope fraggle, I wasn’t there, I got the footage by e-mail from a friend who used to work in the building.

    George

    wheres hawkins house in Dublin?

    Posted by: Rebecca Black at December 13, 2004 06:07 PM
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    Churchill House won’t be missed but the demise of the Kitchen Bar was a tragedy.

    Always thought Belfast’s cityscape was kinda weird. You still have a handful of very tall buildings (one less now though) punctuating a cityscape full of gaping holes, when filling out the city’s streets with lower-level developments would surely be more appropriate. It’s as if the city planners just wanted the city to have a few skyscrapers. As though having a few buildings over 20 stories makes Belfast like Manhattan – when in fact it just detracts from the buzz factor on the streets.

    Posted by: Billy Pilgrim at December 13, 2004 06:07 PM
    ————————————————————————

    the ‘belfast buzz’.

    I remember that ad campaign for belfast that probably scared people away for fear of STDs.

    Posted by: Fraggle at December 13, 2004 06:17 PM
    ————————————————————————

    I’d say Windsor House is pretty ugly.

    Posted by: Michael Shilliday at December 13, 2004 06:25 PM
    ————————————————————————

    Which one is Windsor House?

    I’d say that concrete block on Great Victoria Street, beside the Shell garage at the bottom of Shaftesbury Square takes some beating. Is it the ugliest building in Belfast?

    Conversely, which is the most beautiful? There are quite a few contenders.

    Posted by: Billy Pilgrim at December 13, 2004 07:04 PM
    ————————————————————————

    Billy

    That’s Fanum House you’re referring to, home of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and local base for the Irish Times and other media outlets.

    Windsor House is on Bedford Street, and is home to the British Irish Secretariat, among others.

    Yes I am full of useless information.

    Posted by: Belfast Gonzo at December 13, 2004 07:09 PM
    ————————————————————————

    Yes I am full of useless information.

    ..among other things, Gonzo.. among other things.

    Oops.. did I say that out loud? 😉

    Posted by: peteb at December 13, 2004 07:16 PM
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    Rebecca

    wheres hawkins house in Dublin?

    Hawkins House is in Hawkins Street (the one that goes down the side of the Screen Cinema, near Trinity.) It’s the home of the Department of Health and Children.

    In 1998, readers of Architecture Ireland Online voted it Dublin’s worst building.

    “Windsor House is the tallest building in Belfast, and is a contender for the tallest building on the island of Ireland (I guess it’s either that or the county building in Cork city).”

    was not is, as evidenced by the video clip!!

  • Rebecca Black

    ooops, apologies for the length of that, I’m back at home using an apple mac after using a PC for a while so I’m making mistakes, that post should read;

    “Windsor House is the tallest building in Belfast, and is a contender for the tallest building on the island of Ireland (I guess it’s either that or the county building in Cork city).”

    was not is, as evidenced by the video clip!!

    “Hawkins House is in Hawkins Street (the one that goes down the side of the Screen Cinema, near Trinity.) It’s the home of the Department of Health and Children.”

    ah yes, I know that building, its more modern than churchill house and in fact churchill house was more ugly than Hawkins House!!

    Apologies to all!!