Slow Architecture Grand Canal Basin Dublin
Honouring the work of craft.
Boundaries – A claiming of territory, a demarcation of land, a definition of space.
This proposal looked to vernacular construction methods of rural crafts as a point of departure to present glass as a construction material of many uncelebrated guises. Traditional methods of making boundaries for shelter, enclosure or to define territory are evident country wide. Using available materials at hand was common place. These were renewable, durable, recyclable, or biodegradable. Construction was slow and methodical. Rhythm texture and use of specific materials was fundamental to the function of the structure. Dry stone walling, wattle and daub construction, split hazel and willow hurdle making, coppicing and thatching are examples of skills which respected nature and often served a secondary function to their constructive one.
Glass as a material can become the conceptual boundary between the physical and the metaphysical. It defines space light and form. Its use as a filter of light provides comfort and climate control. The limitation for glass has always been in its production. Its production cost is high, and working the material in ways that are challenging require a range of craft skills and in depth expertise. It is a unique architectural material which we take for granted using only a fraction of its inherent qualities. Notions of space, lightness, darkness, solid and void, transparency or translucency can be explored through this material.
In modern building schemes creation and disposal of waste is a growing environmental issue and is impacting on building costs. Glass is no exception and thousands of tonnes of waste glass are created and dumped each year. Rural building methods drew on a rich source of material close at hand. In this proposal I wish to address how this glass waste material can be used as an exciting and challenging resource for use in architecture. By combining waste glass with hot glass production many options can be challenged, in the context of a small exhibition space this will need to take the form of drawings, samples and photgraphy.
Engaging the community as part of this work was an essential part of this work. Rural constructions were often community projects of people working together in ‘meitheal’ or groups. A gathering of neighbours worked together to ease the work load and create constructions which would otherwise not have been possible. Each offer of work was reciprocated.
Constructing a structure or boundary with the local community at a mooring point illustrates how slow architecture can encapsulate traditions which we could readdress. Creating a requirement of preparation for this work involves the wider community, making community members aware of the project evolving in their area opening a dialogue on slow architecture. It reinforces the link with rural traditions between the older and younger members of a community.
This project was made possible by the generous donation of waste glass from WMG group Churchfiled Cork and lighting from NJPower Ballymount Dublin
The project was constucted by youths from the Andrew resource centre Pearse street and the glass department in NCAD Dublin, led by Artist Róisín de Buitléar
Many thanks to volunteers
Daniel O’ Callaghan
Conor O Toole
Category : Exhibition