The White Ink-stallation

Part 1-Led Installation Project



White Ink Architects we’re invited to contribute to the ‘Your City Your Voice’ event. Supporting CCQoL’s aim to increase awareness of public consultation on the development of Belfast. In response, a micro-urban intervention was designed and placed in front of 2 Royal Avenue. Our main goal is to spark interest in people walking pass the value of consultation, leading them to be involved in varies activities inside the building.

As Part 1 Architectural Assistants we have been given the opportunity to oversee and conceptualise the design from start to finish, and with the guidance of our wider team. In just 5 weeks, we were able to come up with a meaningful response, even without a specified brief. It was also a useful exercise for us to practice teamwork, systematic working and realistic outputs.

About CCQoL

For more information about the work of Community Consolation for Quality of Life. Click button below.


Our intervention was designed to create a sheltered, intimate and safe space for members of the public. A space to engage in a conversation with one another. The concept of sitting facing a stranger is a rarity in public areas. Public benches are common with dividers or facing opposite ways to avoid interaction with the other users. We challenge this notion because understanding can come through a simple conversation.

The benches are far enough apart to allow users to have a comfortable amount of leg room, yet close enough to prevent another person from walking in between them and interrupting their conversation. The overhead enclosure makes the setting intimate, yet open enough to give a sense of anonymity to the users when engaging in conversation.

The timbers in the project are painted in bright colours, referencing White Ink’s ‘Canopy of Colour’ in the Cathedral Quarter displayed during the previous Culture Night. The idea was to physically express the energetic space by wrapping the sky in Talbot Street with colourful ribbons. Taking this idea of expression through colour we have used the same colour palette. Signalling to the public that everyone is welcome through this installation, and it is a safe space to voice their opinions on a wide range of topics relating to the city.

Expression through colour extends to steel elements which have been painted yellow, paying homage to the Harland and Wolf cranes that mark the skyline of Belfast. Reflecting this inspiration to our installation and giving the users a sense of solidity in the project. The timber colours each have their symbolism; blue represents security and gives a welcoming sense. Pink represents playfulness and excitement, complemented by the qualities of yellow, innovativeness and intellect. And purple, with the aim that Belfast as an imaginative city. The combination of these colours gives a sense of hope through this project to a brighter and more vibrant place for everyone.


Through collaboration, our Part-1 team developed a design that was originally inspired by the sail structures that already exist on Royal Avenue. This translated to canopies that symbolise the aspirations of the city, before developing towards seating enclosures that followed the form of an archway.

With the timescale allocated we prioritised buildability and function; what this piece of intervention will be used for. These two considerations married into a simple but symbolic addition to 2 Royal Avenue.

The installation is constructed using steel and timber. Two contrasting materials are representative of the built environment. Steel symbolises the rigid principles that cities consist of, whereas timber represents the malleable, dynamic and ever-changing and ageing aspects of the city.

Tiernan Allen, a member of the group took ownership of the construction portion of the design project and much of the work was undertaken in his workshop in Fermanagh. The assembly was carefully considered during design and construction to make set-up and take-down seamless throughout the weekend and to increase the flexibility of the installation to ensure it has a life beyond the event it was designed for. 


The goal of this project was to raise awareness of peoples’ voices and opinions on current matters, consulting those who are affected by the change. By having this experimental installation, it encourages people to talk about these subjects and talk to those with who they may not normally engage in conversation with, broadening each individual’s approach to an array of matters.

We hope that the users will take away this message and implement this idea in the wider context of Belfast.


Projects begin with thoughts and sustained by talents, and always a product of teamwork.

We are thankful of this opportunity, the task has enabled us to develop skills that are essential to being an architect. Each of us played a part, and taking away that illusion that projects are a ‘one-man-band’ is a healthy shift in mindset early on in our careers.


Part 1s involved
Claudia Cabrera, Danny McCambridge, John Matthew Manlapaz, Matthew Newman, Peter Lawson, Sam Potts, Tiernan Allen

Claire McAteer, Shane McCrory

Special thanks to Tiernan (right/below) this is no small feat, taking all our ideas and producing the piece in 7 days is an achievement.
With his determination we’re sure he’ll excel in his masters this next two years!

Well done team.