Cunningham Stone were proud to provide stonework masonry services for the award-winning Colin Connect Transport Hub and Town Square
A transport hub and town square might not seem like the most exciting brief for a project but the Colin Connect Transport Hub and Colin Town Square in west Belfast was no ordinary project. In fact, it was recognised as Northern Ireland’s building of the year in 2019.
Located on the Stewartstown Road, the transport hub serves as the west Belfast terminus for the Glider, while the new town square is just the beginning of a complete regeneration project for the area.
The project signifies the first shared use transport and community hub in Northern Ireland, with the state-of-the-art facility providing shared space and community amenities, both of great necessity to the area. These images effectively capture the striking complexity of the building, and leave it evident to see the innovative and imaginative approach adopted to the brief by all parties involved, including Cunningham Stone’s contribution to the stonework masonry element of the project.
© Donal McCann
The project timeline has also been captured on video:
At Cunningham Stone, we acted as stonework masonry contractors on the project and were briefed to supply the granite and manufacture the stone for the concrete-framed structure, as well as carry out the fit of the stone cladding panels. We used Portuguese granite for the exterior façade, to compliment the unique, geometric shape of the building. Although this was, for the most part, a straightforward granite cladding project, there were a couple of tricky elements.
“The timeline was quite tight; we were under pressure to complete our portion of the project to a strict deadline. The stones took longer to fit than we anticipated due to their size. They were 215mm wide so there’s actually very few square metres you can build in a day. We also fit all individually so it was a slow process,” said Alan Cunningham, Managing Director of Cunningham Stone.
The Colin Connect Transport Hub is a modern, aesthetically pleasing curved building which also presented the teams involved in the build with a set of very specific challenges. “That curved element required a lot of detail. It may not seem like the building actually has much detail but in terms of soffits and other features, there are quite a few. This was a challenging yet rewarding project for us to work on and we’re delighted to have been involved in such an important project for Belfast.”
The outcome of the project is a stunningly unique and eye-catching design, which will serve its purpose to the community for many years to come.