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Visiting The King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland: Art Deco property of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society
A striking frontage with strong echoes of the 1930s
The (almost gargantuan) King's Hall is located in Belfast, Northern Irealnd
Some history and features
Work on this building commenced in 1933, and it was formally opened the following year. This building is a highly conspicuous monument to Art Deco style on the Lisburn Road, in Belfast.
Belonging to the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, The King's Hall hosts Balmoral Show (1) every year; this Show constitutes Ireland's largest agricultural event. The King's Hall has also long been established as a large capacity venue events other than strictly agricultural ones, including those of for a variety of entertainment, musical, commercial and Christian events.
The building itself has a capacity for 7,800 people, within its 10,000 square metres of exhibition space, with a total site area of 130,000 square metres. The building's interior has reinforcements of buttresses executed in concrete.
The responsible architects were Leitch and Partners (2), of Glasgow, Scotland.
As an exercise in Art Deco design, we see at The King's Hall an intriguing, symmetrical combination of geometric shapes at the building's main Lisburn Road frontage. The King's Hall's thus joined famous buildings such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in New York City, the Battersea Power Station in London, England (and many others) as a very noteworthy expression of this striking style.
July 16, 2012
(1) 'Balmoral' refers to the district of Belfast in which The King's Hall is situated. It also refers more generally to the Socttish residence of the British monarchs, also called Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire's Deeside.
(2) The founder of Leitch and Partners was Archibald Leitch (1865-1939). Architect Leitch is particularly known as the designer of the Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, 1899-1900.
Also worth seeing
In Belfast itself, among other visitor attractions are: Belfast City Hall; the Albert Memorial Clock Tower; Belfast Castle; Church House; the ornate Belfast Technical College; the Harbour Commissioners' building; Queen's University Main Building; and many more.
Lisburn (distance: approx. 15 kilometres); Market House is a fine, 18th century structure now housing the Irish Linen Centre, a museum about an historically important, local industry.
How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Belfast International Airport, at Aldergrove, where car rental is available. Please note that facilities mentioned may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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