136 – 142 Great Victoria Street

Last Update: 25 Jun 2016 | General Update

  • Address: 136 - 142 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7BG
  • Use: Office
  • Floors: 4
  • Planning Status: Approved
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Start Date: 1963
  • Completion Date: 1964
  • Developer:

    Ulster Bank

  • Architect:

    Houston & Beaumont

A four storey building with frontage to both Great Victoria Street and Dublin Road. Designed by Tony Houston of Houston & Beaumont Architects, Lurgan for Ulster Bank Ltd.

The building hosts a large sculpture depicting ‘flying figures’ that was commissioned in 1963 by Houston & Beaumont and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for Ulster Banks Ltd. The cast aluminium figures, located on the Shaftesbury Square elevation, were created by Dame Elizabeth Frink and are known locally as ‘Draft’ and ‘Overdraft’.

The Shaftesbury Square branch of Ulster Bank occupied the ground floor, with offices above, from 1964 until closing on 14th June 2013.

The Magdalene School House, designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, was built on this site in the mid 19th century. Construction began in May 1852 and was completed by February 1853. The building would later also serve as a Sunday school and parochial hall for St Mary Magdelene Chuch on Donegall Pass. The day school was closed by 1888 due to the danger to school children from the increasingly busy Shaftesbury Square junction. The building continued to be used as a parochial hall until it was decided, due to the distance from the church on Donegall Pass, to sell the building. The building sold during late 1919 for £5,000 and was later demolished c1930 and replaced by the Shaftesbury Arcade. The Arcade was a two-storey building with ground floor retail units at Great Victoria Street and Dublin Road. The Arcade was demolished c1963.

A planning application (LA04/2015/1274/F) submitted in November 2015 by Ulster Bank Ltd (with TSA Planning and Like Architects) proposes to change the use of the ground floor from bank to offices and provide new generator housing on the roof.