The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society has commissioned Digital Key to create a mobile app that features a heritage trail of the Cathedral Quarter, illustrated through images, text and audio. This Belfast heritage tour app is a pilot project which aims to promote awareness and understanding of the built environment and demonstrate the value of sensitive and creative reuse of our historic buildings. It is hoped that this will provide a useful resource to inform people about the significance and potential of these buildings. To connect people with this shared history so that they will get involved in protecting the future of our built heritage.
Cathedral Quarter Tour App
This app aims to enable users to appreciate the built environment and how these buildings can act as a gateway or signpost to our heritage. Much of Belfast’s rich architectural landscape has been lost to development and conflict so it is essential to retain what remains and help the public to appreciate it and protect it. This app will atmospherically tell the stories of these buildings and their inhabitants to bring the history of Belfast to life.
The app will use a mixture of audio, text and graphics to highlight the rich built heritage of the Cathedral Quarter. A map will guide users to 12 points of interest (POI) in the area. Each POI will feature a group of buildings of some historic and/or architectural merit. The app will provide a short paragraph of text, an image slideshow and a narrated animated slideshow that will illustrate important architectural and historical features of each location. The audio commentary accompanying the narrated slideshow will direct the user to particular architectural features of each building and recount key elements of the location’s history using simple and accessible language.
Cathedral Quarter Tour Buildings
The majority of buildings included in the app are listed. These properties demonstrate a range of architectural styles and date from the 18th century right up to 1930s. Listed status does not always protect buildings and subsequently some have fallen into a state of disrepair. The shops on Lower Garfield Street and North Street Arcade demonstrate the sad condition of some of Belfast’s listed buildings whereas the Merchant and the Black Box show how old properties can be sympathetically remodelled for new purposes. The app aims to highlight the wealth of architecture in the Cathedral Quarter and encourage users to consider the threats and opportunities for listed buildings.