Northern Ireland

Belfast's Tropical Ravine wins major award

Tropical ravine
Image caption The building, which dates back to 1887, recently reopened following a £3.8m refurbishment

The refurbished Tropical Ravine at Belfast's Botanic Gardens has won a prestigious construction award.

The unique Victorian building was named Project of the Year at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2018, Northern Ireland.

The ravine houses a unique collection of tropical plants.

The brick-built hothouse, which dates back to 1887, reopened recently following a £3.8m renovation. with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Belfast City Council and Friends of Botanic co-operated on the project with the aim of developing the rundown building into a popular tourist attraction.

Image caption The refurbished has been part of Belfast's Botanic Gardens for over 130 years

Judges unanimously chose the ravine as Project of the Year, and it also finished top in the building conservation category.

The organisers say the awards "celebrate inspirational initiatives across the built environment".

They praised the Tropical Ravine project as "a model of best practice".

Companies involved in the project included surveyors Currie & Brown, architects Hall Black Douglas and contractors McAleer and Teague.

Image copyright ThB
Image caption The Titanic Hotel project cost around £28m, which included a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund

Another of the winners, in the tourism and leisure category, was the Titanic Hotel.

The hotel opened in 2017 in the former drawing offices of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

The drawing offices project cost around £28m, which included a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Winners of the individual categories:

  • Building Conservation - The Tropical Ravine, Belfast
  • Commercial - Colby House, Belfast
  • Community Benefit - John Paul II Primary School, Belfast
  • Design through Innovation - Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex
  • Infrastructure - Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Station, Enniskillen
  • Regeneration - Newry Leisure Centre
  • Residential - Rathgill, Bangor
  • Tourism & Leisure - Titanic Hotel, Belfast

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