Urban forests and art to transform Cathedral Gardens Belfast

Cathedral Gardens has the potential to be the key transformative setting for the provision of a vibrant, human-scale, intimate and welcoming public realm ‘destination’

An eco-diverse urban forest, a safer, more inclusive public space, and a distinctly Belfast experience that tells the stories of the city via artworks, water installations, landscape features and a memorial to the Blitz bombings of 1941. These are just some of the ways our master plan for Cathedral Gardens will transform this important civic space in the heart of the city.

Now being presented for public consultation, the master plan aims to provide a space that’s greener, more sustainable, more walkable and more connected to the wider city. Located next to Ulster University and the historic St Anne’s Cathedral, this previously neglected locale offers a diversity of flexible new spaces ranging from expansive lawns where visitors can rest and relax to shady, tree-lined event areas for food markets, flower shows and music festivals.

The future Cathedral Gardens will also deliver a sustainable oasis of nature-inspired calm, thanks partly to planting an urban forest designed to change with the seasons and attract local wildlife. The forest, lawn areas and planted gardens will all be fed with rainwater captured and stored on site.

Artworks spanning large installations to smaller garden art trails, an interactive water feature, audio-visual and lighting displays, and spaces for cafes and restaurants will all combine to create a dynamic, new place for people to gather, relax and play day and night.

Cathedral Gardens Belfast

Location: Belfast, Ireland

Landscape Architect: Hassell

Design Team: Angus Bruce, Samuel Travers, Nicola Albertin

Collaborators: Nigel Dunnett

Client: Belfast City Council

Image Credits: Hassell

About Damian Holmes 3339 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/