So here it is. This is what the ‘new’ Waterfront Hall will look like after the £29.5m conference centre is built. The Council is providing £11m, DETI’s European Regional Development Fund is pitching in £14.5m along with £4m from the tourist board.
Here’s the architect’s plan with a view from the river:
Hmmm… so the Waterside Hall is not going to be so beside the water as it is currently. Although interestingly that’s not where the original idea seemed to be heading:
At this stage there was a clear attempt to preserve some visual connection between waterfront and hall. Though it is hard to see how this design could ever have delivered the actual space a conference hall would require to make it viable. They’ve achieved that by boxing the hall in on almost every side.
The design change might explain the sudden bump in the budget last year? The planning application was made at the end of November 2013.
So take a good long loving look at Robinson McIlwaine’s modern gem (£29.1 million in old money), which several times in its own planning stage almost never made it into life.
Of course, it’ll still be there. You just won’t able to see it until you’re almost in it.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty