Victoria Square, Belfast

Victoria Square, Belfast

Some ten years ago, the old Victoria Square in Belfast, a drab Victorian street in the south quarter of the city centre with factory and office buildings, and a non-functioning metal fountain in the centre, was demolished and replaced by an ultra modern shopping complex, featuring multinational stores, cinemas and restaurants, residential apartments, bars and leisure, easy parking, and easy access to the streets of Belfast.

On a recent visit I hadn’t intended to take photographs at all, but just to visit the shops, – but the intriguing interior of the complex brought to mind the old adage that the best camera is the one you have with you; so whipping out my iPhone, I began to make some images…

The exterior of the building featuring the old Jaffe Fountain. Taken on the iPhone around 6pm, January day, processed in Lightroom. See how the old ‘Parlour Bar’ floor level in the building on the right has been preserved, juxtaposed with the modern building on the left.

A feature of the building was that it was topped with a viewing dome, that gives unparalleled views over the city, and the old fountain of bygone days was rescued from its storage site at Botanic Gardens, and relocated where it had first been erected.

Note how the visual aberration of the convergence of the parallel lines draw the eye up into the dome.

The new centre featured modernistic architecture built around a central atrium, with staircases and lifts making a series of eye catching patterns to accentuate the dome. It welcomes around 17 million visitors a year, making it one of the top ten UK shopping destinations.