New Maritime Mile Visitor Experience to come to Belfast's waterside

  • The Maritime Belfast Trust charity has announced the creation of SoundYard, a new outdoor interactive visitor experience which will bring to life part of Belfast’s maritime heritage story, along the Maritime Mile, through sound.

    The experience will be free to visit and open to the public later this year.

    The all-weather structure will be located on the waterside, next to the Odyssey and Abercorn Marina, which was once the site of a brass foundry and Kelly’s Coal yards.

    The design and sound were inspired by the noise of striking metal emanating from the old shipyards.

    SoundYard will celebrate Belfast’s maritime heritage, add to the animation, accessibility and vibrancy of the Maritime Mile, as well as help reconnect and educate children and adults of the significance of the shipyard to our city.

    In response to ongoing Covid-19 guidelines, the installation will be activated by motion sensors to avoid children touching the apparatus.

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    The structure’s unique design was the winning submission of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects Early Career CityPlay Design competition in 2019.

    Young architects, Hannah Wilson, Matthew Kernan. and Eunan Deeney were inspired by the noise of striking metal from the old shipyard works and the sounds from repurposed metal pipework.

    The team also considered the circular economy for the built environment, and how elements have been designed with re-use, repurposing and recycling in mind.

    The project has been funded by Tourism NI, Maritime Belfast Trust, JP Corry and Belfast Harbour, with collaborative partnerships with the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, Todd Architects and the Odyssey Trust.

    Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Maritime Belfast Trust, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to team up with young architects, stakeholders and former shipyard employees to develop this amazing project.

    "The SoundYard project aims to create a new bespoke play experience along the Maritime Mile and will also attract local communities and reconnect them with the city’s iconic waterfront, especially during these difficult times.

    "It brings the heritage and story of the former Shipyard into the heart of Belfast, a community that has contributed so much to our maritime economy past and present.”

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    For further information about the project visit or follow on Twitter: @MaritimeBelfast and LinkedIn. 

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