Unbuilt Northern Ireland: The greatest buildings that never were


Broadcasting on BBC Radio 4's PM programme last night, I threw in a line pointing out that Daniel Libeskind's angular peace building centre is not the only major project which looks set to be stillborn at the Maze.

HOK Sport architects drew up plans for a multi-sports stadium which never made it out of the Stormont quagmire.

Last year, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a series on landmark buildings around Britain which were never constructed, including a palace in Whitehall in central London and a cathedral in Liverpool.

An artist's impression of how Stormont would have looked had there been enough money for the dome. An artist's impression of how Stormont would have looked had there been enough money for a dome

It made me wonder what Northern Ireland might look like if some of the projects shelved for financial or political reasons had made it off the architects' drawing boards?

Last year, an exhibition to mark the 80th anniversary of Stormont's Parliament Buildings included an artist's impression of what the edifice would have looked like if the budget had stretched to include a dome or cupola on the top.

During the Good Friday Agreement talks, there was some discussion about potentially building a new Northern Ireland Assembly, maybe on Belfast's Gasworks site, but I haven't seen any drawings of what that might have looked like.

More recently, there have been would-be skyscrapers not yet built at Belfast's Queen's Quay and Abercorn Quay.

Then there is the Narrow Water bridge across Carlingford Lough, put on hold by Louth County Council.

I haven't even got around to mentioning all those department stores you've never shopped in or roads you haven't driven on.

Any other suggestions for the greatest local buildings never built?

Mark Devenport Article written by Mark Devenport Mark Devenport Political editor, Northern Ireland

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  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I for one are in total agreement that hat is needed is a sound economy rather than sound bites and point scoring. Education and health rather than rhetoric. However I fear that is not order of the day and we are to see more of the same. God forbid but I yearn for is the chance to even vote conservative rather than what we have here at present.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Peace centres and peace bridges etc etc is not the way to forge peace.

    Our wonderful bunch of politicians do nothing but stir up trouble. And have been doing so since I was a wee boy, I've very little hair let on my head which indicates how long it has ben since I was a wee boy.

    More than handshakes and smile for the cameras are needed. How about we start with eradicating the ghettos.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    The DUP/SF play school - extra big sand pit for heads/bodies to be buried.



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