Highly Commended at WAF for Joint Project by UCD Architecture and Chinese University of Hong Kong
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Building Mountain - a joint project by architecture students from UCD and the Chinese University of Hong Kong - has received a Highly Commended Award in the World Architecture Festival 2012. The project was joint second place with Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey for ‘Halic Shipyard’.
The award was won by students from the University of Ferrara with a project called ‘In the core of Renaissance architecture’. The judges were impressed with a project that “managed to be extremely mature and also human-centred in its approach”.
The joint UCD/Chinese University of Hong King project ‘Building Mountain’ explored options for vacant housing throughout Ireland: The project considered to the failed economics and nostalgia that has characterised the past decade and proposed a controlled demolition of all under-occupied, under-used, unsafe buildings and a land swap providing accommodation on currently derelict urban sites for those who wished to leave peripheral ghost estates. A new public entity would facilitate a swap of land and material, rather than taking ownership of these sites and their debt.
Vacant housing throughout the country would be dismantled and the salvaged material loaded in trucks to be taken to the docklands and strategic brownfield sites. This would form the Building Mountain. People in remaining ghost estate housing would be offered a land swap, giving up their housing and moving to new urban density developments in the city constructed from the mountain. The Ghost estates will be returned to agriculture and nature, returning to productive use as parks, allotments or agriculture. Those who choose remain in a transformed exurban territory, the derelict houses and incomplete site works now gone. Those once pushed out of the city by rising prices can return. Eventually the monument itself will be completely reused remaining only as a memory in the new urban fabric it composes.
The project team was: Darren Snow, Donal Lally, Conor McGowan, Jarlath Cantwell, Sky Lo Tian Tian, Marc Aurel Schnabel, UCD and CUHK. The team would like to thank Hugh Campbell and UCD for their support and also K+K Hong Kong.