Reimagine Projects Around Ireland




















Reimagine Projects Around Ireland

Fieldwork

Bog Bothy

Bog Bothy
“Bog Bothy” brings together the Irish Architecture Foundation, in partnership with architects Evelyn D’Arcy and David Jameson (12th Field) in a project that will help nurture a new, sustainable relationship with Ireland’s ecologically and culturally important bog landscape.
The Bog Bothy project will work with peatland communities to co-create bog bothies as spaces for shelter, retreat, and deep engagement with this changing landscape. 

As Ireland moves away from industrial peat extraction and creates new plans for outdoor recreation infrastructure, this sustainable and creative architectural intervention will pilot new ways of maintaining historic connections with the bog while protecting and sustaining it for future generations. 

The project will take three stages over 2.5 years, working closely with raised bog landscapes and communities affected by the move away from peat extraction and whose deep land knowledge are key to building this new legacy across much of Ireland’s midlands. It will create a number of tangible outcomes, including bothy prototype(s) and a design guide for bothies in a peatlands context, as well as functioning as feasibility testing for delivery at scale across the region. Key to this project is co-design, ensuring that communities are engaged centering them in a way that allows them to reap the benefit of well-designed architectural interventions.

 

    What is a Bothy?

    A bothy (derived from the Gaelic word Bothan), is a hut for workers in the landscape. As the need for them declined, their use among hillwalkers increased, with a practice called “bothying”. Bothys provide very basic off-grid shelter for those hardy people who love to explore the outdoors and our natural landscapes. As our peatlands transition from being a place for workers, to a place for nature and for walkers, the bothy provides a great model for low impact accommodation and shelter. 

     

    About 12th Field

    12th Field is a collaboration between architects Evelyn D’Arcy and David Jameson, who since 2021 have been working together with peatland communities in the midlands. Our work to date has culminated in the production of a masterplan with proposals for a way forward following the cessation of the peat extraction industry, which up until recently was woven into every aspect of people’s lives. As part of this process, we have expanded into roles of research, mapping, advocacy, and creative design. 12th Field explores ways in which architecture can reignite our ancient relationship with the bog, by creating new rituals and opportunities to interact with it, remembering the social history of the bog, and including local communities as co-creators in the design and construction process.

    The name “12th Field” derives from the Peco method of harvesting peat. In this system, the bog was divided into parallel “fields”. Peat was transferred along five fields on either side to a central eleventh field, where it was gathered and taken off the bog by train. This process has transformed the bog landscape and will leave a lasting physical legacy. Through their work with peatland communities, we are now gathering memories, stories, information and skills – and the 12th field is the space where a new future vision of our relationship with the bog will be realised.

     

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