Phase 2 of Ulster University’s £250m Belfast campus development comprises blocks BC and BD. The buildings are designed by FCB Studios and are currently under construction.
Block BC rises from four to twelve storeys and will host the library, basement auditoriums, catering, logistics, teaching spaces, offices and meeting rooms.
Block BD is a 130,000ft2 five storey building, rising to eight storeys at the corner of York Street / Donegal Street. The building will host the University Boardroom, Academy Restaurant, teaching spaces, offices, catering facilities and meeting rooms.
The site was previously occupied by three buildings known as the Interpoint, Orpheus and Metropole buildings. Ulster University acquired the Interpoint and Metropole buildings along with York House and the Playboard building between 2007 – 2010.
Ulster University submitted a planning application (Z/2012/0361/F) for the proposed new Belfast campus in March 2012. The application proposed refurbishment of block BA and construction of blocks BB, BC & BD. Following a number of planning amendments the application was approved in March 2013.
Demolition of the Interpoint building was carried out by McCormack Demolition between June 2013 – December 2013.
The c£4.5m basement construction contract for block BC was awarded to Farrans Sisk Joint Venture in April 2014. The work was undertaken during 2015 – 2016 and comprised the excavation and construction of the basement. MGF Ltd supplied over 728 tonnes of shoring equipment comprising 74 hydraulic props, 1088 metres of strut extension, 822 metres of steel waling and 275 waler support brackets were required to enable the construction of the basement structure.
Ulster University awarded the £150m construction contract for Block BC and BD to a joint venture between Lagan Construction Group and Somague Group in March 2015. Work commenced on the site of block BC during summer 2015.
Eastwood Demolition demolished the Metropole building on the site of block BD during October 2015. During the same month the link bridge that connected block BA to the Orpheus building was removed. Eastwood Demolition demolished the Orpheus building between December 2015 – February 2016.
Construction work on the site of block BD commenced during summer 2016 and by summer 2017 the first floor above basement level of block BC was commencing.
Lagan Construction Group was placed into administration in February 2018 and construction was paused for four months until JV partner Somague recommenced work during late June 2018.
By the end of 2018 block BC and BD were linked at the third floor across York Lane and block BC had reached the sixth floor.
Sacyr Somague awarded Blackbourne the £9m mechanical and electrical contract for block BD during July 2019.