8. Seating and planter detail
1. Seating design 10. Bench and paving detail



Donegall Quay is located on the west bank of the River Lagan in Belfast’s City Centre. It is bounded to the north by Obel, Ireland’s tallest building, which contains a mixture of residential, office and retail space. Access to the site is directly off Donegall Quay, a busy arterial road running alongside the River.

The project has resulted in the transformation of a left over open space, located above an underground carpark, into a sustainable City Centre asset. The Paul Hogarth Company proposed a pedestrian friendly space that delivers both local and city wide benefits, particularly given the under-provision of soft landscape spaces in Belfast City Centre.

The design maintained a strong focus on the use of natural materials, including grass, wooden ‘rafts’ and stone, providing a strong resonance with the waterside setting while creating formal and informal places for people to rest, chat, eat and play. The unique design and integration of interpretative seal sculptures, engage all ages and tell the story of the River Lagan regeneration. Planting provides a wave of colour throughout the year with a mix of perennials and evergreens.

The client brief for Donegall Quay was focussed on the comprehensive enhancement of the area through hard and soft landscape works, with the aim of providing a pedestrian friendly space which could be utilised for small events and as an overspill area for larger events within the adjacent Custom House Square. The result is a popular destination for people, which is healthier, more environmentally friendly whilst being a catalyst to economic and social vibrancy.

The project’s success is demonstrated by its intensive use, the positive impact on the people involved through the project and the reactions of the people who live, work and play in the area.