JP Corry and RSUA's Multi Comfort Pavilion Design Competition | The Winner’s Review

03 May 2017

In mid-2016, the Royal Society of Ulster Architects [RSUA] along with JP Corry launched the inaugural Multi Comfort Pavilion Design competition.

The competition was established to provide local architects under the age of 40 with an opportunity to showcase their creativity and talent. 

Entrants were invited to design a unique, semi-permanent pavilion for Belfast, designed around the theme of ‘comfort’. The overall winner was Colin Mc Clelland of Shane Birney Architects, for his pavilion design at Botanic Gardens, Belfast. 

Pavilion design by Aileen McConaghie, Kate Doherty and Colin McClelland of Shane Birney Architects.

The award – a luxury weekend away to London for two, a West End show and a visit to the Multi Comfort Visitor Centre – was presented to Shane Birney Architects by honorary RSUA member, broadcaster and designer, Kevin McCloud at Architecture Night 2016. 

JP Corry has spoken with Colin Mc Clelland, Shane Birney Architects, who discussed his rationale behind the concept, his recent visit to the Multi Comfort Visitor Centre and advice for those entering the 2017 competition. 

JP Corry: Can you describe your concept around the design of the architectural pavilion you submitted for the competition? 

Colin: The concept for the comfort pavilion came from my recent thoughts and research on the topic of comfort. For the most part culture defines the parameters of modern lifestyle. We don’t go outside when our hair is wet and we don’t like to experience being too hot or cold. The concept developed as a response to these cultural ideas that are contrary to what our bodies need. If we don’t exercise our natural ability to handle hot and cold then we will become dependent on conditioned environments.

JP Corry: Did you find this challenging and/or enjoyable?

Colin: It was enjoyable to take an idea I had been thinking about separately and apply it to a building. 

JP Corry: What did you enjoy most about
visiting the Multi Comfort Visitor Centre?

Colin: The best part about the centre was
getting to know the possibilities of modern materials. There was a lot I didn’t know and
hadn’t heard of and definitely some materials
that I would spec in projects I’m currently
working on. 

JP Corry: Would you recommend this
competition to other architects?

Colin: I would recommend this competition because it challenges us to really think about the ways space is constructed and used.

JP Corry: Do you have any advice for those entering the competition in 2017?

Colin: My advice for other architects entering the competition would be to observe how spaces are designed, constructed and used then challenge it. Make them work for the mind, body and spirit.

Details of the 2017 Architectural Pavilion competition will be released soon.
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