Backland by Carol Lawlor

With the decrease of religion in Ireland, how can we replace and reinstate it’s social benefits in our communities, and encouraging the mixing of various, ages, social classes, races and beliefs?

I decided to used this question as a driving part of my design. With the main brief implicating a new communal heart into a backland site. I felt there was a opportunity to create a space that facilitated a transfer of skills between generations. For example, cookery demonstrations, or trade skills. As well as that, I felt the key event that religion created was that “Sunday Occasion” or gathering. I felt that there was an opportunity to provide a facility the held a Sunday event, that wasn’t driven by sports, or other interests. It is to be purely for the purposes of social interaction. The resulting scheme allows for a Sunday brunch/lunch to be held by the local community, facilitating families and you kids as well as the elderly members. With the indoor space, doubling as a food hall as well as for trades classes during the week. The development of the courtyard would also allow for outdoor dining when the weather allows. By also developing a elderly mixed occupancy housing scheme, this would also encourage social integration. The backland was well suited to hold such an event as it was central within Harold’s Cross, but also safe enough for children as it was withdrawn from main traffic routes. 

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