Tradisiún a Chaomhnú – an teanga, an cultúr agus na healaíona

This thesis investigates the role that architecture has or can have in preserving cultural ideas that strengthen our expression and sense of identity. When thinking about our féiniúlacht, who we are, we often think of our mother-tongue and the heritage of ceol, scéalaíocht, filíocht, and béaloideas. It is our language that evokes a sense of place, Béal Bán, the white mouth, Cloichear, a place of stones or An Daingean, the fort.

My area of interest lies on the Dingle Peninsula, Corca Dhuibhne, the Gaeltacht where I grew up. This place where my identity is rooted. A place that has provided me with a connection and moulded my understanding of what the essence of Irish people is and has been for generations. In Dingle town, there’s a building which provoked an interest within me. An art deco façade amongst the patchwork of coloured townhouses in the fishing town. The Phoenix Cinema, one of the last old Irish cinemas of its kind which was, until recently, a space for people to gather and experience an interpretation of culture from around the world.

I will be taking the typology of the Old Irish Cinema as an existing infrastructure that lies empty within many towns scattered across our island and look to repurpose these spaces that once acted as cultural hearths within our communities. Initially, these were places of film, of dance, of music and of interaction. We must reignite these spaces to allow them to be places of cultural importance once again. A place where language, song, dance, and lore can thrive, where culture can flourish once more. 

A place to house Irish Identity