Reimagine Projects Around Ireland

Fieldwork

Reimagine Letterkenny

Reimagine Letterkenny

Reimagine Letterkenny was about developing a pedestrian ‘cultural corridor’, connecting three much loved cultural centres in Letterkenny, County Donegal.

    With Reimagine Letterkenny, we worked with Donegal County Museum, An Grianan Theatre, Regional Culture Centre and Donegal County Council to creatively explore with the local community how an under-utilised interconnecting walkway connecting the Port Road and the High Road could be transformed into a cultural asset. The aim was to consider how this path could become an attractive pedestrian route, reconnecting the three buildings in the public imagination, while also supporting the creation of a new cultural identity in this area of Letterkenny town.

    Following an IAF led developmental stage, a public competition was announced to commission an architect/team to respond to a detailed brief.  Local Donegal architects Pasparakis Friel were the successful team, with a proposal that wove in the importance of including clear public communication into the design process. In March 2020, after working with the community partners to explore concepts for an identity for the project, the first public consultation event was set to launch. However, that was just in time for the country to go into full lockdown due to a COVID 19.

    With the new constraints of social and community interactions,  Pasparakis Friel were able to refocus consultation work online, including a website, social media, and online survey, from which they received 180 responses. These responses were then turned into creative, clear graphics and re-communicated via social media to the public to re-engage with. Through this process, they were able to build a community conversation regarding what role a Cultural District could play for Letterkenny and further afield.

    Irish Architecture Foundation - Letterkenny Cultural District -

    Six months later, live community consultation was held in a very different world, during a brief lull in the pandemic storm. Pasparakis Friel took over An Grianán Theatre’s Forecourt as part of Culture Night on Friday, 18th September. The aim was to hear from locals as to how this project could be a catalyst for the growth of culture and arts in the region whilst also improving Letterkenny’s public realm.

     

    Irish Architecture Foundation - Letterkenny Cultural District -

    Outside An Grianan, a new addition to the open plaza announced itself in a swath of colour. Colourful signage was constructed from flag material wrapped around a steel structure, taking on a playful, sculptural form. From this point on the Port Road, a trail of chromatic dots led up to the steps to the Regional Cultural Centre, An Grianan’s nearby next-door neighbour, where another colourful structure stood commandingly. Following this path around the perimeter walls of the newly built courthouse, a few minutes later you were walking along the High Road towards the Donegal Museum. A third installation there completed the route, playfully contrasting with the historic stone facade of the former Letterkenny Workhouse.

    As plans for the Letterkenny Cultural District evolve, it will be exciting to see the ideas and plans harnessed through community consultation can feed into urban realm plans for the area.

    Irish Architecture Foundation - Letterkenny Cultural District -
    Local Partners
    The Regional Cultural Centre
    www.regionalculturalcentre.com
    An Grianán Theatre
    www.angrianan.com
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