Ulster University, Greater Belfast Development – Phase 1

Ulster University

Client: Ulster University

Completion: March 2015

Value: £16m

Project Summary

The University of Ulster Greater Belfast Development is the most significant and impactful education project to be undertaken in N. Ireland and McAdams are delighted to be the local support to FCBS who are the Architects and Lead Design Consultant. This £200m+ project involves relocating the Ulster University teaching facilities from its Jordanstown Campus to Belfast and co-locating them with its pre-established Art College precinct. The scale and complexity of this projects is immense and will be completed in 2021 however Phase 1 which involved the more modest new-build extension to the Art College was completed in 2015.

This landmark building occupies a prominent corner site on one of the main arterial routes into Belfast. The design solution responds with a strikingly modern building notable for its large gravity defying projection of the glass Art Department on the top 2 floors. The mass and scale of the new building pays homage to the existing award winning Art College which it adjoins however the materiality favours brick in reference to Belfast Victorian past.

The completed project contains full teaching departments for Fine Art, Jewellery, Ceramics, Printing, Pottery etc supported by suites of administration offices and social breakout spaces. It is linked to the existing Art College via a glazed pedestrian link at level 4.   


The Ulster University’s Greater Belfast Development will have a long lasting and positive impact on the local communities adjacent the project but also the wider economic prosperity of Belfast. Key successes include:

  • This project ensures the Ulster University is seen as a forward thinking and progressive educational provider within an extremely competitive market.
  • New accommodation is tailored to the specific needs of each user and does not rely on a ‘make do’ scenario that is currently enforced by the limitations of the existing campus.
  • Significant regeneration to Belfast, reinforcing the commitment from the Ulster University to the local communities.
  • Raising the profile of not only the Ulster University but also Belfast as a city.

Do you want to know more about us?

About Us