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Studio Idir

The more we share, the more we have

A community land trust on the Mackie’s site offers a gentle density of predominantly 4-storey housing arranged in large blocks around courtyard commons. Houses are built sustainably from hempcrete, pitched roofs are oriented southwards for solar panels, and rainwater is collected for storage and reuse. Shared courtyard commons will be shaped and adapted before, during and after the build by the residents of each block - to facilitate food production, play and leisure. This car-free development will have only a peripheral route for vehicular traffic. Voting is now closed!
Download full plan
Current rating: (167 votes)
An overview of Mackie's Commons
An overview of Mackie’s Commons
Routes, uses, heights and spaces
Routes, uses, heights and spaces
Courtyard commons
Courtyard commons
A day in the life of a resident
A day in the life of a resident
A typical residential street
A typical residential street
Design, live, build
Design, live, build
Download full plan
Current rating: (167 votes)


Click the 'Rate This Masterplan' button above to leave your own comment.

Clear idea that is communicated in a simple way. Overall the concept is Very good. One concern: commercial on the ground while housing above. Is a bit unclear where the entrance is for each residence and whether there might be conflicts of public vs private use. After all, the houses are not that tall to Avoid commercial activity from the ground
— On Mon Mar 20 2023 @ 6:30:44 PM
It’s sensitive and clever. Subtle work.
— On Sat Mar 18 2023 @ 6:11:41 PM
Sensitive and clearly understands the context better than the others.
— On Wed Mar 15 2023 @ 3:54:47 PM
Twee presentaion doesn't rule-out a very banal outcome that would hardly differ from a developer's proposal
— On Mon Mar 13 2023 @ 4:35:25 PM
A strong Take-Back-The-City representation. Sustainability solutions are clear, logical and straightforward both in infrastructure and services. The general profile is relaxed and the neighborhood is adorably intimate. The architect though, implied a prolonged under-construction status. Meaning the site will remain a construction-site long after the first resident moves in. A clearer idea on the phasing will help. Also, lacks a landmark. In my humble opinion such a unique project should stand out visually (not by tall buildings).
— On Sun Mar 12 2023 @ 5:35:41 PM
This is elegant, practical and sustainable
— On Fri Mar 10 2023 @ 10:20:02 AM
An attractive optimistic layout, the scale is perhaps a tad ambitious
— On Thu Feb 09 2023 @ 9:04:50 AM
Love it. Seems to contain so many traditional design elements. And also the incremental building! Great move away from a "single design that's built all at once" approach
— On Sun Jan 15 2023 @ 5:14:26 AM
I love this one the most. The peace walls weren't always there on the Springfield Road and hopefully, for the sake of my kids and grandkids, they won't be there in future. I don't want them to have to worry about where they can go and where they can live in peace. Fair play to you'se all for dreaming big. We need more of this to get out of this rut we are in. Please god let the politicians listen.
— On Fri Jan 06 2023 @ 9:39:34 AM
this is excellent, beautiful and builds resilience, skills and sustainability
— On Mon Dec 19 2022 @ 9:05:32 PM
Love this one
— On Fri Nov 11 2022 @ 7:28:14 AM
Outstanding work!
— On Wed Nov 09 2022 @ 7:44:55 PM
What a beautifully conceived concept. Well done everyone at Studio Idir A real bonus for Belfast
— On Wed Nov 09 2022 @ 6:32:04 PM
This is fantastic
— On Wed Nov 09 2022 @ 5:08:02 PM
Looks amazing
— On Wed Nov 09 2022 @ 1:50:30 PM
Looks like it’s been designed by people who know that site. Human scale.
— On Wed Nov 09 2022 @ 1:27:40 PM
I like it
— On Sun Nov 06 2022 @ 2:11:51 AM
Looks lovely. Love the reed beds and the commons, but not sure I get the plan… like where would all the garden sheds go?
— On Fri Nov 04 2022 @ 9:44:46 AM
— On Thu Nov 03 2022 @ 4:19:50 PM
Exactly the sort of development Belfast needs in the 21st century - people-centred rather than business-centred living.
— On Wed Nov 02 2022 @ 10:45:54 PM
Beautiful and sustainable design concept for a wonderful community space where people can enjoy everyday life with a community hub to learn and grow.
— On Tue Nov 01 2022 @ 8:11:56 PM
Looks amazing
— On Tue Nov 01 2022 @ 10:51:12 AM
Love this co-design ethos!
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 3:42:30 PM
Sustainable is the way to go forward. Solar panels etc
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 3:08:29 PM
Excellent well thought out plan
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 12:24:33 PM
Beautiful concept and design. Inviting future residents to take part in design workshops for the houses and shared spaces is a fantastic idea, giving them agency over their community. Brilliant idea also to grow hemp and willow on the site, it's a great way to show the community examples of sustainable and circular architecture in their environment. Looks like a community anyone would be proud to be a part of!
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 9:34:23 AM
A great plan, showing good use of space and clear community understanding for living. Great living and maintain/creation of positive outdoor spaces
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 8:33:35 AM
A thoroughly thought through plan which delivers a solution where people can thrive and build a sustainable community
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 7:49:13 AM
Excellent design
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 7:38:26 AM
Wonderful, considered, idea
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 7:32:52 AM
Thoughtful and contextual approch for the area thinks about what life would be like for residents living there as opposed to being reliant on abstract architectural concepts that do not relate to people's lived experience. Facilities and services important, make sure these go in first as a phased approach. Also must be connected to the wider area.
— On Mon Oct 31 2022 @ 6:54:09 AM
Inspired and generous design that prioritises everyday needs and community spirit, a triumph!
— On Sun Oct 30 2022 @ 9:57:02 PM
A dream lifestyle in one of the best spots of West Belfast bringing all the communitys together that live here in west belfast. I also love the way the greenway is included and our own council could not get it right. I take my hat of to everyone involved in this campaign all the success in the future Power to the people!! ✊✊
— On Sun Oct 30 2022 @ 12:21:00 PM
Very professional plan, would make a huge difference to the area. Well done.
— On Sat Oct 29 2022 @ 3:40:10 PM
A very clear and understandable proposal. Not cluttered nor too technical.
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 7:45:20 PM
Great idea
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 5:20:57 PM
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 4:38:28 PM
A Great forward thinking plan. Everything we need to bring new housing development into a sustainable and climate friendly place to live . Definitely the type of plan we need .
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 4:17:13 PM
needs good public transport links to make it work
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 4:14:20 PM
Well done
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 3:30:44 PM
Love this! The open spaces, design of build, carless, community focused space to live just wonderful!
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 3:28:35 PM
Love it! Leafy areas, calmness and a chance for people to time out
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 3:07:55 PM
This sounds just like what East Belfast needs ... Looks great and I love the way sustainable materials are being used
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 3:03:23 PM
Very good
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 3:00:09 PM
Love the open spaces and the chance for Community to come together
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 3:00:06 PM
Love this plan... looks to the future, while keeping a nod to the past.
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 2:57:09 PM
We need more of this in Belfast - great design
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 2:55:24 PM
A truly sustainable vision for the future.
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 2:53:24 PM
Excellent means of reusing land, with a completely sustainable project
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 2:31:41 PM
This is the sort of plan needed
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 2:00:40 PM
Great stuff
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:59:43 PM
Looks well.
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:58:22 PM
Beautiful master plan
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:56:22 PM
Amazing graphics
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:55:23 PM
This is amazing looking
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:53:49 PM
Well done
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:53:00 PM
Love the design. I had family who worked all their lives in Mackies. Good to see the sight regenerated.
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:50:21 PM
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:49:34 PM
Yes! We need way more of this kind of project. Love the artwork and the detail in this plan.
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:45:00 PM
Great to see a local company sorting out a tired old part of Belfast. Especially like all the eco-friendly features, hemp/solar/pedestrian areas etc
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:41:00 PM
We definitely need more eco friendly housing. Also appreciate the efforts to sustain and encourage community - something we seem to have lost.
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:33:59 PM
Love it!
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 1:10:23 PM
Love the ideas, could live there myself someday
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 11:19:33 AM
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 8:01:45 AM
The design is strong & positive plus I really love the way it’s set out & explained in stages. The drawing style is lovely. Best bit for me tho is ‘day in the life of a resident’ - when the dream is real life. Terrific
— On Fri Oct 28 2022 @ 7:40:45 AM
This looks like a really lovely place and an inspiring way way to live. Even better that it comes from a local firm with an understanding of Belfast.
— On Tue Oct 25 2022 @ 6:25:05 PM
A sound proposal that attempts to stitch together and make sense of the existing surrounding streets and topography, whilst creating a new neighbourhood and part of the city with its own sense of identity and green space at its heart.
— On Tue Oct 25 2022 @ 12:17:18 PM
Really attractive plan.I must have missed it but I did not se a scale to appreciate the size of the undertaking.I believe you are ambitious in thinking that you can grow the hemp required for this project, as each house/apt. will require more than 1.5 ha of hemp. However I congratulate you on a very exciting design and for choosing hempcrete technology.
— On Mon Oct 24 2022 @ 9:36:01 PM
very nice, I like the big park
— On Mon Oct 24 2022 @ 5:03:28 PM
This plan is a unique, comforting and warm as it provides great housing for people in need. This will create a friendly, vibrant community as it will bring everyone together of all generations as there are a wide variety of activities to take part in. The plan is also very sustainable and also environmentally friendly because of all the working practices that are going on within the residential area. I personally love it and is perfect for all ages.
— On Mon Oct 24 2022 @ 2:18:15 PM
What I like about this plan is that it is described in a way that makes it easy to envisage. There are so many beautiful ideas that make me want to live here. It brings together everything that I want in an urban residential development, sustainable buildings, nature, gardens to grow food, facilities, community.
— On Sun Oct 23 2022 @ 2:31:56 PM
This plan provides comforting and welcoming housing for those in need. The approach also incorporates sustainability measures to ensure the housing remains resilient and suitable for future generations; therefore this is the most promising short-term and long-term approach short-listed that will meet our current and future housing and climate requirements.
— On Sun Oct 23 2022 @ 3:57:02 AM
Love this
— On Sat Oct 22 2022 @ 7:01:13 PM
Urban housing where it’s needed, delivered by people that communicate in straightforward language.
— On Sat Oct 22 2022 @ 6:45:13 PM
Fabulous ideas.
— On Sat Oct 22 2022 @ 6:02:13 PM
A nurturing approach, illustrating opportunities to share the commons.
— On Sat Oct 22 2022 @ 11:46:10 AM
— On Sat Oct 22 2022 @ 11:12:19 AM
The living spaces and outdoor spaces are really well mingled in this, it seems like it would be a really lovely place to live
— On Thu Oct 20 2022 @ 9:04:50 AM
Take Back the City logo The Take Back the City coalition was formed in 2020 to develop sustainable solutions to Belfast’s housing crisis. We are families in housing need supported by experts in architecture, urban planning, housing policy, technology, communications, permaculture, human rights and equality.
Supported by
Oak Foundation logo PPR logo Queens University Belfast logo Town and Country Planning Association logo