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Riddel Hall

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Riddel Hall Donal Mc Cann 56


Location: Belfast

Brick Manufacturer: Wienerberger Limited

Brick Names: Mellowed Red Stock, Padova Pavers

Architect: TODD Architects Ltd

Brickwork Contractor: Grove Builders

About the project

Queen’s Business School at Queen’s University Belfast is renowned for its academic excellence and a wide range of undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in accounting, economics, finance and management.

Riddel Hall, the Grade II listed building where Queen’s Business School is based, needed an expansion to accommodate the growing post-graduate community. The challenge was to create a state-of-the-art facility that harmonised with the historic environment while meeting sustainability standards.

The brief to the architects, TODD Architects, was to create a cutting-edge space to include various features such as a 115 seat Harvard-style lecture theatre, 290-person tired lecture theatre, computer lab, seminar rooms, boardroom, quiet study spaces and common rooms. A real-time virtual interactive classroom platform to simulate a physical classroom experience was also fitted, which is a great way to deliver hybrid and remote lessons. Sustainability was also a core component of the brief, in line with the University’s commitment in all their new buildings to move towards net zero carbon and to reach a minimum BREEAM Excellent rating.

The close collaboration with Wienerberger throughout the selection and construction stages of the project ensured a smooth and successful build. The Wienerberger team provided invaluable technical assistance, from cost estimations to supply and delivery inquiries and on-site construction support.

Due to the historic and sensitive nature of the site, TODD Architects recognised the importance of selecting the right brick for the successful delivery of the project. The team had meetings with the Belfast City Council Historic Environment Division to review the proposed brick and material selection, comparing samples with the original Riddel Hall building to ensure the final selection was rooted in context and sympathetic with its surroundings.

After consideration, the architects chose Wienerberger’s Mellow Red Sovereign Stock brick due to its subtle variations in colour, tone and texture. The bricks blended seamlessly with the historic “Belfast Brick” construction of Riddel Hall, guaranteeing that the new building complemented the old.

Nigel Murray, Associate Director at TODD Architects, said: “When choosing the right brick to work with, our main focus is the quality of the brick in terms of material quality and consistency. To ensure this, we look for brick manufacturers that can guarantee quality by strictly adhering to the relevant production standards and provide long term guarantees.

“For Riddel Hall, we went for a waterstruck brick by Wienerberger which brings with it a slight variety and colour, tone and texture to add to the consistency and materiality to the completed project.”

Upon completion, the project was met with positive feedback. Colm Lavery, Head of Estates Development, Estates Directorate, at Queen’s University Belfast, was delighted with the final product, describing it in one word: “stunning.”

The architects’ experience with Wienerberger on this project was so positive that they have already continued to use Wienerberger products in subsequent projects and plan to do so in the future.

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