Repurposing disused buildings, a revamped town square and a new cultural corridor are just three of the six projects part of a community-led architecture and design programme, ‘Reimagine…’, announced by the Irish Architecture Foundation.
Reimagine… brings together local communities, architects, designers and planners to develop projects which will enhance the local built environment of each of the towns.
The six towns participating in Reimagine… and their projects, include:
- Tallaght, Co. Dublin: this project, ‘Melt the Walls’ will focus on enhancing Chamber Square for the local residents with a temporary installation, connecting it with the surrounding cultural buildings;
- Kilrush, Co. Clare: the aim of this project is to develop a long-term plan and vision for the town which will have maximum benefit for the local residents and businesses;
- Mohill, Co. Leitrim: this project involves working with the community redeveloping a disused building as low-cost accommodation for people engaged in sports in the area;
- Loughrea, Co. Galway: this project will see the creation of an architectural installation along ‘The Walks’ in Loughrea;
- Kells, Co. Meath: This project will explore how empty buildings in the town can be repurposed for the use of the community – and
- Letterkenny, Co. Donegal: the aim of this project is to develop a pedestrian ‘cultural corridor’ to better link the existing cultural buildings in Letterkenny town.
Nathalie Weadick, Director of the IAF, said: “A key part of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Strategy is to enable citizens to contribute to and improve their built environment, and this lies at the very heart of Reimagine…. No one knows more about a place than the people who live there, and the overall aim of Reimagine… is to enable local residents to bring about positive change to their local areas through collaborative engagement with professionals in architecture, planning, and design.
“Earlier this year, we held an open call for communities to come to us with their ideas for enhancing their civic spaces and we’re delighted to have selected six towns representing all provinces in Ireland to work with to create architecture and design-led solutions. Over the past number of months we’ve been meeting with local residents and community groups, and facilitating workshops to develop projects which will enhance the local community. In the next few weeks, the first project in Tallaght will reach completion, and we’re looking forward to progressing the Reimagine… projects in each of the towns in the coming months. Architecture is a civic right, fundamental to the fabric of life, and has the power to improve the daily lives of everyone.”
Tania Banotti, Director of the Creative Ireland Programme added: “Some people see creativity as an escape from the problems of the world, but the Creative Ireland Programme see it as part of the solution. It helps us understand who we are – and where we came from – and allows us to imagine a better future.
“Through the Creative Ireland Programme’s National creativity Fund, we are supporting a range of innovative and exciting projects that contribute in a real and meaningful way to improving the wellbeing of our citizens and communities through creativity. “The relationship between people and the built environment has a strong influence on health. The Reimagine … project is working with communities all over Ireland to empower and support them in shaping the future development of their local areas, towns and villages. Facilitating cross-sectoral collaboration in supporting and encouraging the creative involvement of local communities is central to both Reimagine… and the Creative Ireland Programme. “We look forward to following the progress of these towns and villages as Reimagine … rolls out over the coming months.”
A number of community engagement events will be taking place in each of the towns over the coming months.