Sunday, 19 November 2017

Frames and spaces


A high, beautiful space in the centre of Belfast. It's full of ghosts, emanating in layers from its Victorian brickwork. And every corner's a frame for a view, out or through.



We're upstairs in, appropriately, the old Frames snooker hall complex, once Robert Watson's beautiful furniture warehouse. It's stood through world wars, troubles, development and devastation and at least once it's been on the brink of demolition. Now it's waiting for its next act - perhaps an office space, perhaps an apartment.




All around us are faces, torn from magazines, preserved in the aspic of their heydays. It makes me wonder, randomly, how much I'd pay for the chance to look out of these high windows and see the old Belfast they saw. I'd give a lot.





Later, we're in another empty, lovely space. This is the Carnegie Library on the lower end of the Oldpark Road. It's also ready for new life and love, but full of the old energy of its hundred years of reading and learning. 



The architectural details are beautiful. The institutional pink paintwork, a pale, delicate version of the famous Baker-Miller pink, adds to the feeling that we're surrounded by benign spirits, wanting only to sit at a long mahogany table and take their turn with the day's newspapers or request a new Greek primer from the shelves.









You can find out more about the plans for this building here.

1 comment: