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Fieldwork

Reimagine Tallaght, Melt The Walls

Reimagine Tallaght, Melt The Walls

With Reimagine Tallaght: Melt The Walls, we used Chamber Square as a canvas for creative strategies and architectural interventions to better connect people, place, and institutions in Tallaght town.

Chamber Square is the apex of a vibrant cultural community in Tallaght, connecting organisations such as the Civic Theatre, Tallaght Library & County Hall and Tallaght Community Arts. Like many places, more could be done to welcome the communities resident nearby into this public space and into these cultural spaces. The plan for Reimagine Tallaght was to increase collaboration and engagement between some key cultural organisations through activation of Chamber Square, with the aim of bringing a key space in the neighbourhood to life. The mission was to ‘melt the walls’ between the institutions themselves, and between the institutions and their residential neighbours.

In 2018 a process of stakeholder consultation, community consultation and engagement began. Through a series of light-touch creative engagement activities, anchored to existing events, festivals and activities in Tallaght’s cultural calendar, the IAF began investigating in small ways how local organisations and spaces could connect with their neighbours.

From these creative consultations, it was clear that people did in fact spend dwell time in the space, as an alternative to the parks nearby. As it was closer for local residents than some of the parks, families came here to allow children to play in an open space.

People also used it for:
parking bikes / pushing prams (toys and real) / walking / gymnastics / twirling / dog walking / chalk drawing / reading sitting listening / watching phone / scooting / cycling / reading / smoking / taking a break, sitting on steps /football / hurling / eating lunch / meeting people / running up ramps and down steps / scooting down ramps / coffee break / training / filming / climbing the walls

Copy of SM_1042_0180

However, people had lots of ideas for improving the space. They wanted it to be more welcoming but also wanted it to remain as an open space, and not permanently occupied by something, allowing the everyday activities that happen there to continue, and for it to continue to be a walk through space. A popular idea was of Chamber Square being used as a spill out area from the civic spaces, such as for shows or choirs to rehearse, or a reading space for the Library.

A project brief was created from this community consultation, and local Tallaght residents were invited to adjudicate submissions and as part of the Architect selection process, with an installation by OBFA Architects, and constructed by AB Projects, winning the competition.

Community Voting Tallaght

Designed to be a conversation starting point for users of the square, users were encouraged to sit and spend time engaging with the installation and the space around it.  A programme of workshops and events was created for this gathering spot, including drumming workshops, theatre pieces, creative drawing sessions, poetry, singing, gardening, and a social drop-in event for Culture Night.

While the events tied in with the programmes of the creative and cultural organisations in the area, the installation also there for those special everyday moments – the post-library pause; toddling children looking for space to roam; a new route for scooters; a rest stop before going home; and a space to meet and have a chat with an old friend.

Reimagine Tallaght..Melt the Walls_20.09.19 Culture Night_Photo by Ste Murray_1
Person Standing in Front of Map, taking a photo. Map is part of an architectural installation in a public square.
Local Partners
South Dublin County Council
www.sdcc.ie
Tallaght Community Arts
www.tallaght-arts.ie
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Reimagine Tallaght, Melt The Walls
IAF Re-Imagine