We went BANANAS for Architecture Night 2021

Northern Ireland’s night for celebrating Architecture lights up East Belfast


Architecture Night 2021 saw more than 225 guests come together to a celebrate making Northern Ireland a better place to live through great architecture. It’s an event which is all about connecting people and RSUA was delighted to welcome architects from all different stage of their careers, students, special guests, members of the public and those whose work includes the built environment all in one place, to share their experience and have a great evening.

Living it up in a ‘A Living Museum’

This event makes use of an architecturally unique setting each and every year. And this year was no different. Guests joined us at East Belfast’s newest event space, the Banana Block in Portview Trade Centre, Newtownards Road.

The building, formerly Strand Spinning Mill, was owned by Sir Otto Jaffe, a German-born linen merchant and former Lord Mayor of Belfast. As far back as 1911, William Richardson, head gardener to Sir Jaffe, successfully cultivated ripe bananas in East Belfast.

But Strand Spinning Mill’s banana connection doesn’t stop there. During the Mill strikes of 1932, bands and workers from both sides of the community went on the march and the only neutral, non-sectarian tune that they knew and could agree on was… you guessed it, ‘Yes! We Have No Bananas’ which was played on repeat.

So when the team behind the banana block, Urban Scale Interventions, were appointed to transform the space, they knew exactly what direction they wanted to take…and East Belfast’s newest living museum was born. Find out more about the Banana Block and sign up to receive updates here.

Celebrating Local

As well as being a dynamic and open events space, The Banana Block plays host to a number of local vendors and Artisan Producers. RSUA was delighted to be able to feature live entertainment from the team behind Sound Advice Records and freshly made Cannolis from Velocheese x IndieFüde. Delicious tunes and delicious food!

On the night…

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

Clare McCarty awarded RSUA Honorary Membership

Student Awards – learn more about the shortlisted projects and who took home the coveted Bronze and Silver Medals

Launch of #OpenBelfast – 2021’s Early Career Architect Design Competition

View the full gallery

Architecture Night 2021 would not have been possible without the support of: