Reimagine Projects Around Ireland

Reimagine Projects Around Ireland


Reimagine Belmullet

Reimagine Belmullet
Community partners: Damien Langan, Chair of Erris Chamber of Commerce and Katherine Mangan, Chair of Belmullet Tidy Towns
Architect: Mark Ruddy

Activations on festivals and commemorations in Belmullet increase local pride and interest in public space

The Belmullet project is one of five around the country selected in 2023 for the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Reimagine Hometown Architect initiative, a programme which focuses on the revitalisation of Ireland’s towns and villages.

Belmullet is a planned 19th-century service town to a wide rural region, with public spaces that became car-dominated from the 20th century, including the waterfront and town squares.

Belmullet’s Hometown Architect project engaged residents through a number of activities in 2023, including artistic interventions, surveys and workshops, in a conversation to envision how the town’s public spaces can be rejuvenated to better serve the community.

The project kicked off during Cruinniú na nÓg with on-street drawing workshops led by architect Mark Ruddy, with young people from the Erris Youth Club, Belmullet National School, Our Lady’s Secondary School and St Brendan’s College using chalk to re-map the streetscapes and reimagine the uses of these public spaces.

In August, during Belmullet Festival, the installation “Living Room” was placed on Carter Square. Displaying old photos, maps, sketches and thought-provoking quotations, the installation invited people to stop and reflect on the use of public space in an accessible, inclusive and safe way. The installation also featured as part of the Architecture at the Edge Festival.

One of the outcomes of this Hometown Architect project has been the establishment of a town committee which will be responsible for organising the festivities around the bicentenary of the town in 2024.

In the video below you can watch a work-in-progress presentation by the Belmullet team during a Reimagine Café held in August 2023.

Belmullet2_Monika Regeciova

Hometown Architect is part of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Reimagine programme, which aims to connect communities with architects to co-design and improve their local built environment. The Reimagine programme believes that local insight and tacit knowledge from all stakeholders are integral to developing solutions for our urban spaces, fostering a sense of agency, ownership, and pride among participants.

Funded by the Arts Council and Department of Rural and Community Development, with additional support to the Irish Architecture Foundation from the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage. This project aligns with the national Town Centre First policy, which aims to revitalise towns across Ireland, building and sustaining vibrant town centres where communities can flourish.

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