Belfast council has approved a 2.6ha mixed-use development designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen.
The Belfast Waterside development will be located on the site of the former Sirocco Works football ground on the east bank of the River Lagan, which has been disused since 1999.
The project will contain 750 homes, a hotel, office space, shops, leisure areas and cultural venues.
The development aims to create a "microclimate" to make life there more comfortable during the winter. Building heights will be increased as they move inland from the river (see top image), which will combine with the stadium’s wide faÃ§ade to guide wind over rooftops rather than through the streets.
Jacob Kurek, a partner in Henning Larsen, said the "scale-gradient strategy" was the result of thermal microclimate analysis.
"By placing the tallest office buildings along the north, facing the railway, we will create a noise blocking acoustic barrier. The lower buildings, facing south, keep the riverfront pedestrian friendly and human-scaled. Every building gets a view of the water and good daylight – and people get a more comfortable setting at the ground level," he said.
Swinford Sirocco Limited, a private group owned by Vanguard Real Estate, is developing the project.
John Hussey, Belfast council’s planning committee chair, said the scheme may attract £400m of investment and create over 8,000 jobs.
Images courtesy of Henning Larsen