Architecture Night reawakens the King’s Hall


On Friday 20 October, the King’s Hall was once again filled with bustling activity as it found itself at the heart of Northern Ireland’s night for celebrating Architecture. The Royal Society of Ulster Architect’s annual Architecture Night featured a jam-packed schedule of live music, including Tim Wheeler from Ash. The event also saw journalist William Crawley receive an RSUA Honorary Membership and the night of celebrations was rounded off with recognition for the best of the next generation of architects.

As a tribute to the big fight nights of Rinty Monaghan, Barry McGuigan and others, the event featured a boxing ring stage which was commanded by host Mark Simpson. Adding to the nostalgia was the appearance of Tim Wheeler, lead singer of Ash and one of the last bands to grace the stage over a decade ago. The evening was filled with reflective moments on the “good old days” while simultaneously inspiring visions for the future.

Host Mark Simpson
Tim Wheeler from Ash

Ciarán Fox, Director of The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) commented “We believe that Architecture Night is an incredible opportunity to shed light on the derelict spaces within our city, and how even in those instances, they can serve a transitional purpose before redevelopment begins. This year’s event exceeded our expectations, as we revived live music within the walls of The King’s Hall and proudly showcased the talented, up-and-coming architects and students who will undoubtedly play a vital role in such transformative projects in the future.”

The event also marked the announcement of the winner of a design competition to repurpose a classic red phone box at the junction of North Street and Waring Street in Belfast’s city centre. The competition entitled ‘Please replace the handset and try again’ was run by RSUA and JP Corry but could only be entered by Early Career Architects. The winning entry, by Julian Manev in collaboration with James Boyd and Erl Johnston, envisions the phone box transformed into a captivating gallery space showcasing collaborations with various institutions. The project will be delivered in partnership with Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District over the coming months.

Paul McAlister RSUA President, Ronnie West JP Corry and Julian Manev winner of the Early Career Architects Design Competition

Recognising the talent and dedication of Belfast’s architectural students, a segment of the evening paid tribute to the outstanding work from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. The six best undergraduates and six best postgraduates were showcased, with Caolan Laverty winning the Bronze Medal for best undergraduate student and Rian McMahon awarded the Silver Medal for best postgraduate student.

Rian McMahon Silver Medal Winner, Paul McAlister RSUA President and Caolan Laverty Bronze Medal Winner
Students’ artwork on display

The evening was made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of JP Corry, Hays Recruitment, Metal Technology, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and H&J Martin.

Many thanks to our incredible musicians, Hex Hue, Roving Out and Tim Wheeler as well as our suppliers, Yellow Door, Errigle Inn, Moonlighting, The Eventor, Shaws Hire Services, Balloo Hire Centres, Batty’s Hire Service, Media Design & Print, Sort Design, Champions Kickboxing Club, CBRE NI and most of all David Burrows from Oliban NI for allowing us use of this fantastic venue.

William Crawley being conferred his RSUA Honorary Membership by RSUA President Paul McAlister and Mark Simpson
Hex Hue
Roving Out
Ciarán Fox RSUA Director, Paul McAlister RSUA President and Mark Simpson Host of Architecture Night

Click below to read more about what happened on the night…

Students celebrated at Architecture Night 2023

Early Career Architects Competition Winner Announced

William Crawley awarded RSUA Honorary Membership

For a full gallery of photos by Kelvin Boyes, Press Eye click here

Architecture Night 2023 was supported by: