Maritime Belfast Trust, the Charity that preserves and promotes Belfast’s authentic maritime heritage, will officially open SoundYard to the public next month. The exciting new outdoor interactive visitor experience will bring to life part of Belfast’s maritime heritage story, along the Maritime Mile, through sound.
The impressive 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 and add to the vibrancy of the Maritime Mile, as well as help reconnect and educate children and adults of the significance of the shipyard to our city. Children will enjoy the sensory experience whilst playing within the structure while adults can connect with the sound and interpretation within the site. In response to ongoing Covid-19 guidelines, the installation will be activated by motion sensors to avoid children touching the structure. SoundYard will also be lit at night contributing to Maritime Belfast’s overall ambition for an illuminated harbour.
The SoundYard initiative would not have been possible without investment from Tourism NI’s Experience Development Programme, Maritime Belfast Trust, JP Corry, Belfast Harbour & Belfast City Council. Along with guidance from young architects Hannah, Eunan & Matthew from Todd Architects & in-kind support from 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.
The SoundYard initiative would not have been possible without investment from Tourism NI, JP Corry, Belfast Harbour and Belfast City Council, along with in-kind support from the Odyssey Trust. This project is important to our Charity, as we aim to deliver, promote and protect Belfast’s magnificent maritime heritage; especially within the city’s Covid-19 recovery plans and ensure that Belfast’s historic waterfront plays an integral part of the Belfast experience; a destination that is alive with people and where businesses thrive. 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.”
SoundYard is another exciting addition to the visitor experience along Belfast’s Maritime Mile and will bring the story of Belfast and the shipyards to life in an enjoyable way for visitors and locals alike. This innovative new experience is part funded by Tourism NI’ Experience Development Programme in addition to several other development projects across Northern Ireland. These initiatives will be important in supporting tourism recovery from the impact of COVID 19.
Photo Credit – Matthew Kernan, Architect.