City Quays, Belfast Harbour

Belfast, Northern Ireland

This was an international design competition for a public artwork in the new ‘City Quays’ area of Belfast. The submission was a collaboration between Risner Design, David Salter Associates structural engineers, and Glenfort Timber as the manufacturer and local partner. It was a shortlisted entry.

Due to the site location and past we focused on the area’s rich shipbuilding history for our inspiration. Following this we took our concept from the sculptural shapes of timber boat building and the strong form and soft shapes of these highly pragmatic and beautiful structures. Rather than a literal ship we abstracted the form so that the artwork became a unique object in its own right. This concept was further reinforced by the poem “Life’s Circumnavigator” by the Northern Irish poet W R Rodgers – from which we have taken the project title “Our Boat”.


  • David Salter Associates - Structure
  • Glenfort Timber - Timber fabricator