Youth Resource Centre, Belfast
Youth Action (NI), a Northern Irish charity, require accommodation to develop their services and to deliver drama, dance and other training programmes to young people in the "heart of the city". Tate Stevenson Architects Ltd have designed a six storey building in College Square North, Belfast.
The ground floor includes a main reception and easily accessible resource centre, as well as secure parking for key staff (a travel plan was also prepared as part of the project to manage other travel requirements).
The main double-height drama/workshop space is located at first floor level and has a perimeter balcony, giving a flexible "theatre in the round" layout. This space was designed in consultation with theatre specialists, MP Theatre Consultants, and will be fully fitted out to provide "state of the art" training for young people. Other first and second floor spaces are specially designed to allow for a variety of educational and training courses including dance, drama, film studies and IT.
Upper floors provide project support offices for Youth Action, and these are designed to be flexible in use so they can be adapted to reflect changes in programmes and general spatial requirements in the future.
The building is located in a Conservation Area, and so careful design of the form and finish of the building was essential, to meet the aspirations of the Environment Service. The front elevation is finished in natural stone and the fenestration pattern reflects the rhythm of the adjacent terrace, so we can provide a building that is both contemporary in design and consistent with the existing streetscape.