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Speaker Profile Hall McKnight


Hall McKnight is an architectural practice with offices in Belfast and London. The firm was founded in 2008 by Mark Hackett, Alastair Hall and Ian McKnight, but renamed Hall McKnight after Mark Hackett retired in 2010.

The company’s first major public project was the Belfast MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre), which opened in 2012. The six-storey building is located behind St Anne’s Cathedral. This commission was won through an RIBA International Design Contest in 2007.

The front that is visible Anne’s Square is dominated by a seven-storey tower covered in locally sourced black basalt. The tower is the smallest of three structures that make up the building. The others both accommodate a theatre on their lower storeys, while exhibition areas, studio spaces and ancillary facilities are stacked above. These blocks stand apart and at an angle to one another, framing a foyer (pictured above) in the L-shaped gap. The larger block is a made up of brick, while the smaller block is faced in in-situ concrete.

The work of the practice has been internationally recognised through various awards and nominations including RIBA National and European Awards, nomination for the BSI Swiss Architectural Award, nominations for the European Union Mies Van der Rohe Award and the European Public Space Awards; finalist in the Design Museum ‘Designs of the Year’; and, in 2013 the practice received the Downes Medal, awarded by the Architectural Association of Ireland for the MAC.

The practice’s recent work includes Vartov Square in Copenhagen. Hall McKnight’s current projects include a housing project in the Czech Republic and a major development for King’s College London.

NEWNOWNEXT: A New Generation 17 June, Design Museum London will be chaired by Oliver Wainright, critic at The Guardian. There was a high demand and the panel discussion is now fully booked.

Image: Vartov Square Copenhagen – photograph by Stamers Kontor