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Photo montage of Healthy Living Centre at Colin Allotments

News: New Healthy Living Centre at Colin Allotments

The new Healthy Living Centre at Colin Allotments opened in September 2015

Groundwork Northern Ireland conceived the building in conjunction with the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership to act as a focal point for the local community social enterprise to help develop a healthier lifestyle through growing and preparing fresh food locally. At the heart of the building are the communities environmental aspirations: The structure is five re-purposed shipping containers which have been insulated and over clad with sustainable Larch timber.  Over time this will weather to a silvery grey and allow the building to sit in tune with the landscape around.

In addition to sustainable materials the building is orientated to make the most of our sporadic winter sun with large amounts of glazing to the south. When the weather is not so favourable there is a wood pellet stove to provide heat and hot water. On the roof there is a Solar Photovoltaic array to provide electric.    

Around the building is a permaculture garden and edible landscape designed by Groundwork Northern Irelands Landscape Architects which will supply the kitchen and beyond.

Pocket Park at Newtownards Road, Belfast

Architecture and Landscape Architecture

For Groundwork Northern Ireland, innovation is all about bringing added value to the client.  Sometimes, it is about daring to take risks, but mostly it’s about creativity, the ability to see things differently and making connections others may miss.

Our approach is to bridge the space between innovative ideas and the reality ‘on the ground’. 

Central to this is developing a deep understanding of issues and needs being addressed by a particular project or development.

Groundwork’s Northern Ireland’s specific expertise includes:

•    Sustainable building design
•    Regenerating interface areas
•    Bringing contested, or underutilised spaces into productive use
•    Developing natural play facilities
•    Tackling dereliction and dilapidation
•    ‘Designing out crime’ and promoting ‘Safer by design’
•    Integrating artwork with regeneration

Conceptual visualisation for derelict site

3D Visioning

Groundwork has carried out numerous reimaging projects around contested space working closely with communities and stakeholders.  The aim of our work is to help local communities focus on positive ways to express who they are and what culture means to them artistically and creatively.

Our work is a combination of making physical change on the ground to developing longer term aspirational visions whether through the removal of physical barriers, paramilitary symbols and murals or regeneration of waste land dividing neighbourhoods.

•    Creation of vibrant and attractive shared public space
•    Use of creative art in the public realm
•    Enhancement of the physical and natural environment