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OMAC[2] New arts centre


20 June 2007

Press release contact:

Julia Davies
T: +44 (0)113 203 1490
E: julia.davies@riba.org

On behalf of the Old Museum Arts Centre (OMAC) the RIBA is pleased to announce that the Belfast based practice Hackett + Hall have been selected as the winner of the competition to design a new £11.8 million purpose built Arts Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
OMAC[2] will be a new arts centre for the artists and audiences in Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland. It will be owned and managed by the Old Museum arts centre (OMAC) and will be used by many cultural and community-based partners.
A two stage open competition was launched in February 2007 and 44 concept designs were submitted. From the anonymous first stage five practices were short-listed to further develop their concepts into a second stage. These teams were:

  • Arts Team
  • Cameron Webster
  • Hackett + Hall
  • Keppie Design
  • Markland Klaschka

Gareth Hoskins, RIBA Adviser commented, "Hackett + Hall's proposals draw on a considered understanding of the City within which they are working to create a building that is an evocative analogy of Belfast's streets and surrounding landscape – an architectural landscape that provides OMAC with a rich variety of spaces for audiences and artists and the potential to create a unique home and destination within the City for their inventive programme of arts."
Anne McReynolds, OMAC Project Director commented, "The judging panel unanimously selected Hackett + Hall as our preferred team for a number of reasons. As a practice Hackett + Hall embody the OMAC ethos of international excellence combined with the development of local creative talent. Their undeniable commitment to our project combined with their obvious ability to create wonderful architecture and buildings that work made them an unbeatable team. The strength of their proposed scheme is evident in terms of aesthetics and functionality as well as in cost and deliverability criteria. The fact that they are a Belfast-based practice was an added bonus. I very much look forward to working with Hackett + Hall on developing this landmark cultural for Belfast and Northern Ireland." 

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