THE Stoops wanted an Expo centre built – but nobody knew what an Expo centre was. So that idea was scrapped.

It wasn’t really, ‘legal wrangling’ or ‘harsh beans’ on a company that didn’t win the tender, held up the new build. Then the idea gradually went out the window, it seems.

Andersontown Barracks Picture credit: RUC.org
Andersonstown Barracks
Picture credit: RUC.org

Ironically – the big ugly house the Brits lived in, is now topic of conversation on the website of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Because Daniel Libeskind, the award winning architect involved in the building of the One World Trade Centre, New York is charged with guiding the new design.

Thankfully the site is nowhere near Casement, the GAA has nothing to do with it and the locals seem pretty friendly.

Everyone in the West is being asked for their ideas.

So here’s mine. Listen up West Belfast Partnership Board.

Tri theme

  • The site joins our three main roads – the Falls Road, Andersonstown Road and Glen Road
  • Our national flag
  • The Holy Trinity
  • Decommissioning + Demilitarisation = Peace

Keeping a bit of its history, the former barracks had a hidden jewel – its camera tower.

From here, the Brits could see everything and pretend they couldn’t. We must capitalise on this.

Building a high tower, much like the pictures below would be a striking addition to the road and will change the skyscape of Belfast.

This tower will be seen for miles around.  Local people should not have as much sunlight blocked because of the tubular shape.

Radio City, Liverpool Picture credit: Thorntonfirkin
Radio City, Liverpool
Picture credit: Thorntonfirkin
N Seoul Tower, Korea Picture credit: Wikipedia
N Seoul Tower, Korea
Picture credit: Wikipedia
CN Tower, Toronto Picture credit: Rezalution
CN Tower, Toronto
Picture credit: Rezalution

How will it make money?

  • A cafe bar selling alcohol and tea/coffee will keep it ticking over
  • Telescopes installed, charging tourists and inquisitive locals £1 for a view
  • It can be hired for meetings, event launches and press conferences
  • Books by local historians could be sold
  • Webcams could be installed
  • Phone mast space

Webcams – who will rent them?

  • Media companies can be charged for a 360 degree view
  • NITB can link to their website to promote tourism
  • The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service – no smoke without fire and all that
  • PSNI – we have to get on board with reducing criminality and accept that we are monitored by cameras everyday anyway

As it’s on the route of the Belfast Rapid Transit – no building requiring parking should be built.

Cars should be directed towards the nearby Kennedy Centre to park. It keeps the traffic flowing on this busy junction and will bring more business.

It’s one of the many ideas that float around this brain.. what’s yours?

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