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VITA Bruce Street

Sponsored by
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VITA Bruce Stree Belfast 03


Location: Belfast

Brick Manufacturer: Ibstock PLC

Brick Name: Chester Red Blend

Architect: Todd Architects

Brickwork Contractor: Keymore Construction

About the project

VITA Bruce Street occupies a prominent site within Belfast. The location sits at the edge of the Linenhall Conservation Area, known locally as the Linen Quarter, and it mediates the transition from South Belfast to the City Centre.

Resting between Queens University Belfast and University of Ulster and with close proximity the Weavers Cross transport Hub, it is ideally located to provide exemplar purpose-built student accommodation.

The design of the VITA scheme evolved to respond to the complex context which is represented by the following principal considerations.

The Linen Quarter is characterised by red brick Victorian warehouse buildings whose facades are rich in architectural detail and are ordered to have a distinct base, middle and top.

Being on the edge of the City Centre and in close proximity to Great Victoria Street and Bedford Street, the area has numerous buildings of height. The orientation of Bruce Street is at angle to the City Centre/City Hall grid as it aligns with Ormeau Avenue and is perpendicular to the Dublin Road.

The building design responds to this context and is composed of two primary massing elements;
1) a five storey podium whose front façade aligns with Bruce Street; &
2) a ten storey tower whose front elevation folds back from Bruce Street.

This change in geometry mediates between Bruce Street and the City Centre alignment which produces a five storey shoulder height along Bruce Street to respect the immediate context of adjacent warehouse building.

This total fifteen storey height arrangement responds to the cluster of tall buildings in the area whilst providing spectacular views to residents of the city and its environs.

The material palette is restrained to brick with metal detailing to fenestration, responding directly to the Linen Quarter warehouses. The final Ibstock Chester Red Blend brick selection has been key to the success of the development as it offers a modern homage to the neighbouring historic warehouses.

The detailing of brick work is intricate to both identify base, middle and top order to the primary elevations and to create a contemporary dialogue with the rich detailing of the Linen Quarter warehouses.

The three orders of the elevation is further reinforced by the design detail of the fenestration.

The base section presents double height openings to the ground and first floor set within brick pilasters, creating a colonnade effect at street level.

The windows to the three floors above this and up to the first horizontal brick band are punched to read as individual openings, whilst the middle section of windows are linked vertically via a metal panel to create a rhythm of vertical strip openings.

The top section of openings are articulated as a double height order with brick header detail and shadow gap detail to pilasters, giving presence to the upper most visible portion of the building.

The culmination of these envelope details and the high quality internal spaces and student living accommodation has resulted with VITA Bruce Street setting a new high standard for purpose-built student accommodation in Belfast

Sponsored by Miers Construction Products

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Miers Construction Products is an independent supplier of construction products delivering from a number of locations across the UK. We aim to provide our customers with a ‘single source’ connection to supplies, products and technology. We are dedicated in our efforts to become a valuable supplier/partner by providing products and services that out perform all standards and expectations and offering unparalleled service through dedicated employees whom are committed to being the best in our industry.

Miers Construction Products