The Ulster Museum building was opened to the public at its current site in the Queen’s Quarter of Belfast in 1929.
The Museum can trace its history back to 1821 when it was founded as the Belfast Natural History Society. Today, it is part of National Museums NI [Northern Ireland] (https://www.nmni.com/Home.aspx).
The Museum tells the story of the natural and human history of Ulster. It has collections of art, natural history, material culture and botany.
It has around half a million visitors a year and 8km2 of display area.
In the early 1970s, an extension was built to the Museum in the ‘brutalist’ style, a mode of architecture that is based on raw concrete, geometric shapes and little decoration. During the time of its construction the design caused outrage in polite society and it still divides many into those who love it or hate it. The third phase of the Museum’s development came in the 2000s when it underwent a £17m refurbishment.
The metal sculpture outside is ‘New Metal Piece’ made by Welsh artist Barry Flanagan in 1978.