Young & MacKenzie

Category 5: Best Heritage Research, Recording or Interpretation. 

Paul Harron – Young & MacKenzie Publication.

Paul Harron has voluntarily undertaken to research, record and interpret the work of Young & Mackenzie Architects which contributed hugely to Ulster’s built environment and to engage widely on it with the public. The architects have a lasting legacy in Belfast, with the Scottish Provident Building, Anderson & McAuley’s, and Robinson & Cleaver’s department stores being among their works.

Paul was aware that the firm’s work was highly significant to Ulster’s architectural heritage but that it had not been thoroughly researched or documented. He therefore undertook extensive independent fieldwork across Northern Ireland and consulted hundreds of uncatalogued drawings in the PRONI archives, completing a PhD thesis on the subject.

Following its completion in 2011, Paul wrote a number of chapters for books and journal articles before authoring ‘Architects of Ulster: Young & Mackenzie, A Transformational Provincial Practice, 1850-1960’ published by UAH in November 2016. The book has been critically well received and described by the Dictionary of Irish Architects as the definitive study of the firm.

Further to his authorship of the book, Paul also produced a ten panel exhibition of selected drawings in 2018, which have been on display in PRONI and have now commenced a tour of Northern Ireland’s libraries. Paul’s work has not only assisted in cataloguing and curating the work and drawings of Young and Mackenzie, it has also brought the firm’s work to the attention of the general public and prompted a project by PRONI to catalogue thousands of drawings within its collection.

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