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Explore a world of architecture, construction and engineering in W5's Build It zone. Discover the physics that keep buildings standing, the hidden infrastructure that keeps modern cityscapes ticking and what bricks are best for building.

Find out the WhoWhatWhereWhenWhy of Build It and the facts you can uncover in this zone.

5 things you can learn in the Build It zone?

1. The Lagan Weir in Belfast

Found in the heart of Belfast is The Lagan Weir. A total of 5 weirs can be found here with gatehouses between them. There is even a tunnel running under the River Lagan so engineers can get to the gatehouses. The weir keeps water levels in the city centre stable and protects against tidal surges. It even aerates the river which raises oxygen levels and makes the water a better home for wildlife!

Build It Blog Lagan Weir

2. How do buildings stay standing?

There are an array of different forces that work together to ensure a building remains standing. The weight of the roof pushes down while the foundations work against this, pushing back up with an equal and opposite force. Foundations need to be very stable. If not, the building can collapse.

Build It Blog Belfast City

3. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Did you know the Leaning Tower is the bell tower of Pisa's cathedral? Soon after it was built, the foundations shifted in the soft ground, causing its leaning appearance. Despite the building's alarming angle, it's still standing more than 600 years later.

Build It Blog Leaning Tower of Pisa

4. The strength of an arch

Despite an arch's delicate appearance, it is structurally strong and rigid. Curves are stronger than straight lines as any weight above an arch is spread evenly around the curves so there's no single point taking the strain.

Build It Blog Arc de Triomphe

5. Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world. Designed by a Danish Architect called Jorn Utzon, the modern expressionist design comprises of unique shell structures made of concrete but still manages to look light and delicate. The building covers 4.4 acres of land and is supported by 588 concrete underground piers.

Build It Blog Sydney Opera House

The Who What Where When Why of Build It

W5 Build It Zone

WHO is Build It for?

Great for wee ones, big kids and even bigger kids, Build It is a fun zone for all the family.

WHAT exhibits can be found in the Build It zone?

Visit work stations dotted around the exhibition area and build your own buildings, bridges, towers, pyramids and more!

WHERE can you find the Build It zone?

Build It can be found on Level 4 in W5, along with the Making Sense, The Studio and In Our Nature zones.

Mother and daughter in W5's Build It zone

WHEN can you visit Build It?

Build It is a permanent exhibit and can be explored any time that W5 is open to the public. Find our opening hours here.

WHY should you explore the Build It zone?

Step into Build It and let your imagination run wild. Create arches, columns, domes, towers and pyramids at our interactive work stations. What will you build?

Check out the Build It zone in action