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Hamilton Architects Win Methodist College Design Contract
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Hamilton Architects Win Design Contract for £7m Methodist College Schoolhouse

Hamilton Architects, one of Northern Ireland’s leading architectural practices, has been awarded a design contract for Methodist College’s School House building which will undergo refurbishment and development costing around £7m.

The latest win by the London, Belfast and Derry-based practice brings the construction value of business secured in the education sector alone this year to £37m.

“Methody is a beloved Belfast landmark and we are delighted to be working on a new design for this distinguished historic building,” said Paul Millar, Partner. “Our challenge is to preserve the external fabric of the School House and important internal features, while creating an environment which is fit for modern education purposes.

“The Tudoresque entrance, for example, leads into an ornate oak-lined reception area featuring an original central staircase with a heavy timber balustrade. It is crucial these features are protected and preserved.”

Around 300 students and staff will move temporarily into other school buildings when work begins onsite in September 2017, with construction due for completion in late 2018.

John Robinson, Director of Services for Methodist College, said: “The main schoolhouse building dates back to 1865 and is in great need of renovation and refurbishment to make it fit for a range of educational needs.

“The new design will incorporate new classrooms and administration offices which meet modern day standards and ensure new generations of Methody students enjoy the very best in 21st century facilities.

“The College is grateful to the Department of Education for providing funding for this very exciting project.”

Methodist College, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2018, has 1,800 students and 200 staff. The school, which opened with 141 pupils on 15 acres of land, was founded partly for the training of Methodist ministers and partly as a school for boys. The 2008 film City of Ember used the school, particularly the Whitla Hall, as a location, and in 2015, the McArthur Hall was used as a film location for The Lost City of Z, starring Robert Pattinson. Alumni include Barry Douglas, Sammy Wilson, Glenn Patterson, Jimmy Ellis and Julian Simmons.

Hamilton Architects are currently completing contracts for a new South West College campus on part of the former Erne Hospital site; a new primary school and nursery unit at Gaelscoil na gCrann Primary School in Omagh; and a new 600 pupil secondary school for St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen.

Projects delivered by the company include Kingspan Stadium, Dundalk Race Course, Riddel Hall, Crumlin Road Gaol, Ulster Museum, Mersey Ferry Terminal and greyhound stadiums in Cork and Dundalk.

Photos Caption: Building for the future - John Robinson, Director of Services for Methodist College, and architect Lidia Cabanillas of Hamilton Architects.

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Updated: Wednesday 5th October 2016