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Award Puts a Cheesy Smile on Jordan’s Face! Ulster University architecture student has designs on a crazy sport

Jordan Beattie, Paul Millar and Mark Haslett
Architecture student Jordan Beattie’s cheesy idea for a whacky leisure facility won him Hamilton Architects Young Designer of the Year Award. Justin is pictured with Partners Paul Millar (left) and Mark Haslett.
Ulster University architecture student Jordan Beattie has a cheesy smile on his face – thanks to his award-winning design for an outdoor activity hub.

Jordan has won Hamilton Architects Young Designer of the Year Award 2017 for his innovative design for a fun Cheese Rolling and Treewalk leisure facility.

Cheese Rolling, which originated in Gloucestershire, is a bizarre and rather risky sport where competitors chase a 15in cheese wheel down a steep, grassy course.

“The award brief challenged us to use the grounds of Narrow Water Castle Estate in Co Down to create an environmentally-friendly, low impact, sustainable recreational facility,” explained Jordan.

“Cheese rolling is a crazy sport, but having seen it on the internet I decided it was a perfect fit for the project brief. I had to work hard to get the pitch right over the 280m course, but luckily the terrain was perfect for my idea.

“To complement the cheese roll with a bird’s eye view from the treetops, I designed a timber walkway supported by recycled telegraph poles which, as well as linking existing pathways, offered visitors a year-round immersive experience.”

Sadly, Jordan doubts his creation will ever be realised at Narrow Water. “It would be far too expensive – but it was a fantastic feeling to work with natural materials in a natural environment in a sustainable way.”

The 21-year-old student, who hails from Portadown, has been awarded a big cash prize for his originality, as well as a potential job offer when he completes his studies.

Paul Millar, Partner at Hamilton Architects, said: “We loved Jordan’s design, both for its originality and for the way he integrated a cheese run into the surrounding landscape. It was fun, experiential and included an element of recycling.”

Professor Philip Griffiths, Ulster University’s Head of School of Architecture and the Built Environment, said: “In architecture we ask our students to challenge themselves and in so doing challenge the world. Jordan’s ideas show how our students can approach any construct and deliver innovative thinking.”