MELT THE WALLS
Brief: Melt the Walls was a community-led architecture and design project, designed to promote public engagement. It is part of a national campaign launched by the Irish Architecture Foundation entitled “Reimagine…”, that worked with communities across Ireland to co-create and co-design solutions to challenges or problems they have identified in their locality. Tallaght was selected as one of six towns to work with the IAF in “Reimagine…”. The project ran over 11 months and during that time, hundreds of people in Tallaght spoke about what they would like to see in their locality. Ideas were developed about how to connect Library Square to the buildings, cultural organisations and spaces surrounding it, in a way to “Melt the Walls”.
The public wanted to see the activities in the surrounding building spill out into the space, introducing greenery and places to sit in the Square. Following public consultation, the IAF ran a nationwide competition to find out how they might answer these needs. Tallaght residents were invited to adjudicate on the entries. The final installation consisted of a powder-coated aluminium frame with marine grade ply (wood seats to withstand the elements). It was constructed off site in modular pieces and the design allowed the size of the circle to be reduced or enlarged to create a more intimate or open atmosphere when assembled in the square. Plans to bring “Melt the Walls” on tour to Ireland’s beautiful countryside and see the conversation circle used as an amphitheatre for Brookfield Farm’s open day as well as plans to use the installation as a sculptural piece for the Body & Soul Festival were unfortunately halted due to Covid-19. When such events are safe to take place again, “Melt the Walls – Rural” will showcase the structure, allowing it to become a talking piece again.
Architects: OBFA Architects
Main Contractor: AB Projects
Photography: Paul McCarthy
Alice Evans, AB Projects
Funded by Creative Ireland South Dublin and South Dublin County Council in partnership with South Dublin County Council
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine