Progress Is Impossible Without Change Cultural Studies Essay

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This thesis is an exploration of pop up architecture, its beginnings, its development throughout the 20th century and it also looks at the possibilities for pop up architecture in the 21st century. This thesis aims to explore whether or not it could successfully fulfil the needs of communities in Ireland today. This investigation was carried out by looking at the developments and examples of pop up architecture in the 20th century. Though its conclusion findings did not directly relate to how pop up architecture could fulfil community needs, it did suggest a rich criteria which may help in solving the issue. These findings have informed the brief and need to be explored in more detail in the context of communities.

Key Words and Definitions [1] :


'Able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances'.

This definition will be applied to space making and how space is used within buildings. It also applies to the idea that the user can change the building by constructing and dismantling units or modules.


'Able to be modified for a new use or purpose'.

In this thesis the term adaptable

Pop up

'Appear or occur suddenly.

For the purpose of this thesis pop up architecture will refer to architecture that is built or erected in a relative short time such as hours or days. This is opposed to the more regular construction of permanent buildings which may take months. Pop up architecture for this purpose will also imply that it is portable.


'Lasting only for a short time; impermanent'.

In this thesis transience has a double meaning. Firstly it refers to the transient nature and physical movement of nomadic cultures. Secondly it refers to our society which is fast moving and ever changing.


The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether pop up architecture is a suitable method for designing community buildings where a specific need is required.

The reason for this undertaking is that we do not utilise pop up architecture today. Perhaps it is because there seems to be a negative response to it. This is a one of many possible reasons why we don't utilise it more. In 'The Temporary City' Peter Bishop and Lesley Williams agree that today people have a negative view towards any solution which is temporary. They say that "the notion of permanence brings a sense of security and hedge against risk and the winds of change...while solutions that are labelled 'temporary' are seemed to be secondary to more permanent visions" [2] 

Pop up architecture has been around for thousands of years. It has been used by nomadic cultures throughout history and yet it is seldom used in our society today. This thesis will chart its development and question if it is a suitable method for designing community buildings.

The first chapter is concerned with flexibility. It is a core concept to the area being explored in the thesis. This chapter will review how the ideas of space began to change at the start of the 20th century and how flexibility emerged from this change. Examples of this in housing will be looked at and their variations of flexible control for the user before finally looking at possible issues regarding flexibility as a concept.

The second chapter discusses pop up architecture itself. This chapter will focus on the development of pop up architecture during the 20th century. It will discuss examples that have been tried and a concept that pushed pop up architecture further than it had been before. This concept will be key in the subsequent brief.

The final chapter will explore the area of 21st century society and technology and its relation to pop up architecture. This will look at the transient society we live in today. It will also cover how technology can have a major influence on how pop up architecture can be constructed.

Four case studies will be examined under the following headings; Flexibility, Modularity, both singular and expandable and lastly how pop up architecture can benefit a community.

The conclusion and discussion that follows will create the foundation for the brief.

The Origins of Flexibility

Space had rarely been discussed by architects before the beginning of the twentieth century" [3] 

Bernard Tschumi

At the beginning of the 20th century there was a shift in ideas of how we should use space. Up until then the issue of how we use space had not been high on the agenda for architects when designing buildings. Stylistic patterns such as gothic or classical were what set one building apart from another.

There were many factors which brought about this change. One such change, according to Sigfried Giedion, lay in the work of cubists painters. In his book 'Space, Time and Architecture' Giedion talks about how the cubists had a different approach to how space was viewed. They started to paint objects from different angles, and not just from one direction. This approach was to influence architects of the time [4] . This claim concerning cubist artists is echoed by Bernard Tschumi, he noted that "by 1923 the idea of felt space had merged with the idea of composition to become a three dimensional continuum" [5] . Space was now less static. During this time architects, such as Le Corbusier, and painters, such as Kazimir Malevich, were creating paintings and architecture respectively based on the ideas of cubism [6] . This art style and new way of viewing space would have a huge impact on how they created space in their architecture.

Another factor which led to the transformation of how we look at space was the reaction to stylistic motifs that had come to represent architecture. There were many protagonists opposed to this stylistic movement, most notably Le Corbusier. He felt that "architecture is stifled by custom" [7] and that the styles which had dominated architecture for so long were a lie. This attitude was a yearning for something new. Le Corbusier was not alone in this idea or even the first architect to put forward those ideas.

In 1914 an Italian futurist architect named Antonio Sant' Elia published his manifesto. In this he, like Le Corbusier after him, felt that it was time for change. He made the following statement in his manifesto; "architecture now makes a break with tradition. It must perforce make a fresh start [8] 

A Fresh Start for Space

"The philosophy behind the notion of flexibility is that the requirements of modern life are so complex and changeable that any attempt to anticipate them results in a building which is unsuited to its function and represents a false consciousness of society in which it operates" [9] .

Some of the first examples of flexible space in housing can be observed in Japanese architecture. The internal walls of many traditional Japanese homes contain a 'fasuma' and a 'shoji'. These are solid and translucent panels respectively. They are movable and create flexible spaces within the house.

Though the idea existed in Japan for centuries, flexibility came to Europe much later. It arose in tandem with the modernist movement, stemming from a number of reasons. Chief among these were that it fit in with this idea of prefabrication and industrial building that was being pushed by people like Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. Le Corbusier himself said that "we must create the mass production spirit" [10] , a view shared by Mies van der Rohe who stated "Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space [11] ". They believed that we should embrace the technology of our time and let this benefit architecture.


The housing crisis after the First World War was the perfect time to start developing houses that could be mass produced by industrial fabrication [12] . This was being pushed by modern architects. Cities which had been destroyed by war had to be rebuilt quickly and millions of homes were needed. Mass production was now necessary.

A number of modern architects saw this housing crisis as an opportunity to bring the idea of flexibility into their work. Le Corbusier was one of the most active architects in this area with designs such as Maison Dom-ino, Maison Voisin, Maison Citrohan and Maison Loucheur. These designs were a product of his thinking on mass housing and flexibility. (see appendix for plans) maybe

This pro-industrial attitude which modernists were promoting shared similar attributes to the vernacular Japanese architecture in terms of flexibility.


Flexibility was not just a product of prefabrication; it was also aligned with a new model of habitation that many modernists were advocating. This was a reaction to the previous houses that had a room for every function. ( see appendix)

Architects began to question whether the building could be something that could be flexible for the user [13] .

One concept which is central to flexible design is the idea of adjustable spaces. Le Corbusier believed that a modern design should conform to the needs of the people.

"Walls and partitions can be rearranged at any time and the plan altered at will [14] 

The following houses show the variety of ways that architects enabled the user to determine the arrangement of space in their homes.

Schroder Huis- Gerrit Rietveld

This was built in 1924. It is organised around a central circulation core. The ground floor is divided in a conventional layout of separate rooms for kitchen, dining, studio and bedroom.

The first floor is the flexible area of the house. The internal screens are movable, similar to Japanese traditional homes. The night and day use can be seen in figure . The flexibility relies on the participation of the user.

Apartment block for Weißenhofsiedlung - Mies van der Rohe

The structure of these apartments was completely open plan other than some structural columns. Bathroom and kitchen services were placed along the party wall. The rest of the space was then arranged in different variations in different apartments. Unlike the Schroder Huis these apartments did not have the same level of user participation on a daily basis.

Maison Loucheur - Le Corbusier

Maison Loucheur was designed in 1929. The spaces were designed for a night and day use. This was achieved by movable walls and folding furniture. This dynamic change of space was created with user participation once more.

Diagoon House - Herman Hertzberger

This house was designed as an 'incomplete house'. The intention was that the family who moved in could decide where to have their bedrooms or sitting room. If the dynamic of the family changed then the spaces could be easily adjusted to suit. Once again it gave the user the choice of how to live based on their needs.

The Antithesis of Flexibility

Herman Hertzberger was very conscious of both sides of flexibility. In his book 'Lessons for Students in Architecture' he promotes the benefits of flexibility in terms of efficiency, variety of use and the importance of user influence. [15] He also outlines many problems with flexibility. The main issue he discusses is that "the flexible plan starts out from the certainty that the correct solution does not exist" [16] . This view would suggest that if you can design every solution except the right one then is there any need for flexibility at all. Flexibility was not without its short comings. According to Hertzberger many people viewed flexibility as the panacea to cure all the ills of architecture" [17] . This view was perhaps naive in thinking that flexibility was going to fix all the problems in architecture.

Flexibility is one of the core concepts of the pop up architecture being investigated in this thesis. The understanding of its development is a necessary step if it is to advance further.

Pop up architecture

Historical pop up architecture

There are numerous historical examples of pop up architecture. These examples are primarily in nomadic cultures. Robert Kronenburg [18] , in his book 'Houses in Motion' describes the need of pop up architecture for primitive man, "when existence is based on a transient lifestyle the ability to create a portable or temporary shelter is one of the most important factors for their survival [19] . This ability to create pop up architecture was formed out of necessity. It needed to be portable and easy to construct.

The nomadic examples of temporary architecture such as the tipi, the Bedouin tent and the yurt are all inherently pop up. They are erected quickly when needed and then disassembled when it is time to move on. These three examples are rich in architectural meaning with regard to their layouts and construction despite their ephemeral nature [20] .

20th Century pop up architecture

The early 20th century has had few examples of pop up architecture other than tents or nomadic dwellings. In the 1930's Walter Gropius was hired to refine an existing model of a pre fabricated pop up house. He claimed that this 'copper' house' "could be assembled in only twenty four hours [21] ".

In 1955 Alison and Peter Smithson developed a plastic 'House of the Future'. It could be clipped together and put back to back to "provide high residential densities at single storey heights" [22] . The house had blank walls on three sides which could facilitate being clipped together with others back to back. All natural light was brought in from a central courtyard.

According to Reyner Banham it was "conceived in terms of a mass produced product" [23] . It was to be transported by truck and then dropped into place. It was an instant pop up architecture designed in the vein of mass production.

Despite the intention of this modular 'House of the Future' it was rife with problems. It was criticised by Reyner Banham in his article entitled 'A Clip- On Architecture in 'Design Quarterly'. He claimed that "its concept is limited once you put more than 2 or 3 clipped together, "services and communication will have to be consciously designed at the same time as the units themselves" [24] . If the services had to be designed according to the final arrangement then this left no room for adaptability. This showed that there was no flexibility in the design of the modules. They worked on a small scale and individual level but not as a group that could be adapted and changed.

Another example that failed to become a success was Buckminster's Fullers 1946 Wichita house. It claimed to be pop up in nature in that it could be shipped worldwide in its own metal tube which could be assembled on site [25] . The reasons for its failure were more economic than design related. When he launched his idea in journals he got 37,000 pre orders for the house. However Buckminster Fuller did not want to hand over design responsibilities to the Beech Aircraft Company who had taken on the production role. By the time that issue had been resolved the company had gone bankrupt and the 37,000 houses were never manufactured [26] . A similar fate awaited the experimental SIRH building by Claude Prouve which will be looked at in case study 3( p. ?).

One of the most important innovations relating to pop up architecture was by a Belgian architect named Jacque Baudon in 1959. He developed a connector between units that enabled a house to grow. The clip on house he designed was made up of a number of capsules of different configurations. The main corridor was extendable. It was constructed in sections which could be swapped in order to create extra clip on points for more capsules. This connector was "an essential further concept" [27] . This ability to expand and contract a home by adding connections and modules was a leap forward in the idea of the flexible home. It gave the user a choice of how big or small they wanted their home.

These precedents are an insight into the development of pop up architecture. If a pop up architecture is to be developed which will contribute to communities then the successes and failures of these precedents and many others must be learned from and improved upon.

Pop up Architecture in the 21st Century

Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space [28] 

In 1923 Le Corbusier implied that we were living in a machine age [29] . Before the modernist movement in Western architecture buildings were static. Buildings were built for a permanent function. Then as society began to change so did architecture.

Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman believes we have moved to an ever changing liquid form of modernity. This is because " We no longer believe that a state of perfection will ever be achieved: change is here to stay, as 'a permanent condition of human life' [30] . This statement of our ever changing world is echoed by many others including Mies van der Rohe. He said that "architecture is the will of the age conceived in spatial terms. Living, changing, new [31] ".

Transient society

If the society in the 21st century is evaluated then it is truly a machine age like Le Corbusier suggested. Society has changed because of this influence of machine and technology. It has become a transient society, trends and fashions last a short time before changing. New ideas spread like wildfire through new forms of communication. This has all been made possible by the machine age we inhabit.

However, be that as it may, transience has not reverted us back to nomads; instead it has affected how we live our everyday lives. When humans lived as nomads they built architecture that suited their needs. Those needs were portability, speed of construction and deconstruction. Our needs today are different. We are no longer in a changing landscape as the early nomads were; we are in a static landscape in a changing society. We do not need pop up architecture to change location, we need a pop up architecture to change use and function.

Where then does this leave architecture? In a speech in 2002 at the XXI World Architecture Congress Frei Otto said that "Our art of building has reached a turning point" [32] . If he is right and architecture has reached a turning point then it must reflect the will of our epoch, the will of the machine. If this is to happen society must be embrace current technology and satisfy our transient needs. Herman Hertzberger encourages us to design architecture "which is less fixed, less static" for this changing world [33] .


Pop up architecture responds to the will of both technology and transience. The argument has been made for transience but we must also look at why it must embrace current technology. In this instance technology is referred to in terms of materials and as a method of construction.

"We must create the mass production spirit" [34] .

Almost ninety years ago Le Corbusier raised the issue of how the construction industry had fallen behind in its application of technology. He used the example of how architects used glass. Other industries had windows that opened, that had louvres and were using plate glass instead of bottle glass but architects still use only use windows like those at Versaille or Compiegne" [35] .

This view is still being echoed today. The architecture firm KieranTimberlake are strong advocates of this. In their book 'Refabricating Architecture' they also compare the construction industry to the automotive, naval and aero industries. They claim that "In these construction industries [cars, planes and ships] fabrication times have decreased along with production cost and waste while quality has increased exponentially" [36] . Seen from this point of view it is unusual that the construction industry has not taken this approach. Robert Kronenburg also shares this sentiment in his book Spirit of the Machine. He asks the question "why not make use of the technology of production line manufacturing to make buildings? [37] "

There have been successful examples of this prefabrication of buildings in the past and in particular within the military. During World War II the Allies needed a harbour to offload troops and heavy cargo for the push into northern France. They were unable to capture one so instead they built prefabricated temporary harbours called Mulberry Harbours [38] .

A Second World War II example was by the Aircraft Industry Research Organisation. They designed houses to be built for troops in preparation for the D Day landing. In the space of 7 months they had built over 150,000 temporary houses. These houses were made on a on a production line using the same techniques used in assembling aeroplanes. A unit was completed on average in 12 minutes. The build quality exceeded all expectations. The houses remained for over 30 years. [39] That was over 60 years ago. In both these cases time was of importance and prefabrication solved this problem.

This method of construction has still not been pushed to its full potential at the beginning of the 21st century. Frei Otto made a comment which may suggest that he thinks people are concerned with the idea of permanence. He said "The pursuit of permanence is called preservation. But preservation is for dead things" [40] . Is this why people do not want to use something 'temporary', if it doesn't last then why get it in the first place.

Another theory is that people have negative views on buildings which are premade or temporary. Robert Kronenburg thinks that "the usual perception of temporary architecture is of impermanent transient, low quality building, neither tuned to its purpose nor appropriate to its site" [41] .

It is easy to blame people but maybe the blame lies with the architect. Perhaps there is a fear that by prefabricating you are standardising everything which results in a built environment of sameness.

This idea about standardisation is becoming more redundant because of the extensive range of materials we can build with today. Materials are more advanced than ever before. Amongst these are lightweight structural materials like aluminium, structural glass and more efficient thinner insulation to name a few. These materials can be used in prefabrication to create a more customisable, efficient form of construction.

Prefabrication also promotes the idea of building as a kit of parts. This kit of parts is put together to form a building but it also implies that the kit of parts can be deconstructed. This method can be applied to pop up architecture so it can quickly satisfy our ever changing needs in regard to buildings and their use. This 'kit of parts' is essential to pop up architecture because the choice is put back in the hands of the user.

The following case studies investigate areas which are linked to pop up architecture. These four case studies were picked using a set of parameters derived from the research. They include flexibility, modularity, expandable modularity and how pop up architecture can affect a community. The core essence of these buildings is that they give the choice of change to the user through adaptability and flexibility.

Case studies

The Fun Palace - Cedric Price 1964

"The Fun Palace wasn't about technology. It was about people" [42] 

The fun palace was designed in 1964 by Cedric Price. It was designed in collaboration with Joan Lillewood as a new kind of theatre. It was never built but the idea, according to Stanley Matthews in his article in Technoetic Arts, "was unlike any building before that time, but set the stage for architecture for years to come" [43] .

The Fun Palace is a relevant case study as it utilises space in way that had not been tried before. It shows how Price thought about space. He saw the Fun Palace as a constantly changing space. It could be a performance area, a library, a play centre for children; it could be anything the user desired.

The most prominent feature of the Fun Palace was its flexibility. It was a step up from the flexible houses of the early 20th century. It was designed to be used by the public in whatever way they wanted. It was a large frame which "pivoting escalators and moveable wall panels would permit endless variation and flexibility" [44] . It consisted of ready to move pieces which could be altered in whatever way the user wanted. It was total flexibility to the individual.

This design pushes the concept of flexibility forward towards a user controlled space. This takes the control of space away from the architect and gives it to the user and in this case the community.

Nakagin Capsule Tower 1972 - Kisho Kurokawa

The Nakagin Capsule Tower was designed and built during the Metabolist movement in Japan in 1972.

The tower was built for urban nomads or people on the move [45] . The capsules could accommodate one person with room for a small kitchen and table. The architect envisioned that the capsules would have a social lifespan rather than a mechanical one [46] . The pods would adapt to any change in society.

The flexible feature of this building is its capsules and their ability to be replaced and changed. They would react to society. There are plans to tear down the almost vacant building. However the system that made it so unique at the time may also save it from destruction. The very fact that the capsules are changeable means that all that is required is to change these.

A modular system can be cost effective in terms or destruction or reconstruction. It also shows that these modules can change with society preventing the need for permanent tower blocks that need to be torn down to make way for the next tower.

Experimental Building of SIRH - Claude Prouve - 1973

This was an experimental building designed and built in the 1970's. It was similar to the Nakagin Capsule Tower with its two cores. The modules were then attached to these cores and stacked on top of each other.

The major difference in these two projects was that the units in Claude Prouve's design were extendable. The modules could be easily combined with other cells to create any number of configurations. This depended on the user. In a similar vein to Cedric Price, Claude Prouve gave the power of choice back to the user. They decided how big or small they wanted their home. This experiment was built on the idea of the connector that Jacque Baudon had come up with. This building was never completed due to the bankruptcy of the construction company [47] .

Winterval Festival - Waterford - 2012

This festival is pop up in nature, numerous garden sheds popped up in different parts of the city. A number of different services were provided. One particular area where they popped up was the Bishops Palace area. This area is extremely quite at night and is mainly used as a shortcut to other parts of the city.

The difference that pop up has made here is evident in the pictures. The area is alive with people; there is more interaction with the local community. When this festival is over these 'modules' will be taken away as they will be no longer needed.

This is a showcase of the advantages pop up architecture can have on an area. There is no need to build any sort of permanent structure when a modular system can fulfil the need.


The foundation of this thesis was to investigate whether pop up architecture was a viable solution for providing for community needs. The research has not directly responded to this investigation.

However, during the research, a number of key areas have arisen which need to be further investigated if a design method is to be developed for pop up architecture. They include;

Flexibility; we saw how different architects arranged their houses to promote flexible living. This flexibility is important as it enables the user to determine how to live in that house.

Adaptability; we saw examples of pop up architecture that clipped together and a system which made it possible to add extra modules or components. This is important because it gives the user a choice of expansion or reduction.

An architecture that reflects our epoch; we live in a fast changing society and our architecture should reflect this. This means we need an architecture that changes with our change in needs.

Prefabrication; by choosing prefabrication we can control cost better than before. We can control quality better than before. We can treat our buildings as a kit of parts which means we can dismantle rather than destroy a building when it is no longer needed.

If these four factors are combined what is the architectural result?

The result is a modular system that is prefabricated and customisable. These modules can be clipped together to create larger forms or dismantled to create smaller forms. This adaptability is essential if it is to reflect our ever changing liquid form of modernity.

All this flexibility gives choice to the user which is the most important issue when dealing with changing community needs.

We live in a post Celtic Tiger era which was dominated by money. Apartment blocks were built to fit in as many people as possible and maximise profits. Space making fell by the way side. We built decadent tower and cultural buildings such as the Elysian tower in Cork, the Clarion Hotel in Limerick and the Convention Centre in the Dublin docklands.

Money was in charge. We can ill afford to pay for hollow icons anymore. Society must now take back control. We deserve an architecture which adapts to our changing needs, which can be renewed or replaced as necessity demands. Pop up is that architecture. If this is to facilitate community needs then it is imperative that it gives the power of choice back to the community.



The aspirations of this brief are divided into two areas, the aspirations of the modules and the aspirations of the schemes.

The aspirations of the modules have to be adhered to if the brief is to be successful. The following is a list of criteria which the modules must comply with;

cost effective, use lightweight materials, be able to be erected and dismantled in a short time frame, they must be easy to interchange and re connect, provide maximum flexibility in order to fulfil different needs and enable re use.

The aspirations for any of the finished schemes are that it will, firstly, fulfil the need that is required. It will increase accessibility in relation to the function provided for. It must integrate into the community through its use. Each specific brief will have specific aspirations which will be covered in the pages that follow.

The site and brief are linked. The building type will be site specific. The building will only be erected on a site where there is a need for the building type. The sites will only be chosen if there is a community need in the area for a specific building type.


The objective is to design a series of modules. These modules will have a lego block effect, they will fit together to produce a form. This form will be determined by the need. The need will be determined by the community.

In order to test these modules a number of briefs will be introduced into a variety of sites. The same brief may be tried in different sites and the same site will be home to different briefs.


The chosen site for this brief is Limerick city. Limerick was chosen for a number of reasons relating to the brief. The focus is on community needs and Limerick is in more need of attention in this area than Irelands other cities such as Cork and Dublin.

Limerick has the highest unemployment rate in the country. Some consequences of this will be dealt with by a brief that will be looked at in more detail. The reasons for each brief will be outlined individually in the context of Limerick city as a site.

The particular sites chosen for each brief will also be explained in more detail in the form of site analysis.

Some sites will be suitable for more than one brief; this will be shown in a table at the end of the brief and site content.

Brief #1

Soup kitchen/ FAS job centre:

A soup kitchen may have connotations of famine time Ireland but the reality is that there is an ever growing need for these in Irish society today. In Cork there has been a surge from 20 meals a day in 2008 to almost 100 meals a day in 2012 [48] . It is a similar case in Dublin with numbers in Capuchin Day Centre almost doubling in the last two years [49] . A chief reason of growth in these kitchens is the rising unemployment figures. Limerick has the highest unemployment figures in the country and does not have any soup kitchen facilities.

I propose to integrate a FAS employment centre into this facility to actively encourage people to get involved in looking to get back to work. This centre is not just a free meal but also a chance to talk to people about getting back to employment.

Site #1

The proposed site for the soup kitchen is located north of Colbert bus and train station. The site is currently vacant. It was used as a petrol station; the only feature remaining on site is the canopy.

This site has been chosen for this brief due to its proximity to the social welfare office and the FAS employment service office. The FAS service will be integrated into this service. A secondary reason for its location is its proximity to Colbert train and bus station. This area has a considerable population of people with addiction problems who tend to be the most in need of this service.

It is hoped that this brief will be successful here by helping people from the nearby social welfare office by providing a hot meal, some job information or both.

Brief #2


There is no cinema in Limerick city. There are two shopping centres on the outskirts of the city in the Limerick county area. Ireland has the 2nd highest amount of cinema goers in Europe [50] and in Limerick all these people are leaving the city to go to the cinema.

I am proposing a pop up cinema to operate in the city centre. The aim of this is to encourage more interaction of the community with the city. As we saw from the Winterval case study in Waterford a pop up event can bring life back into an area of the city.

Site #2

The proposed site for the pop up cinema is located on the corner of Ellen Street and Michael Street. Currently it is a vacant site. The closest cinemas from this site are both in shopping centres on the outskirts of the city.

The site has been chosen because of its location and its size suitability for a cinema. It is located in the city close to the main retails district. It is more accessible to more people in the city, it is a short walk from anywhere in the city centre. It is one of the only vacant lots in Limerick city centre large enough to contain a cinema.

The aim is to keep the city community in the city to use this cinema facility instead of travelling out of the city to the retail parks on the outskirts.

Brief #3

An indoor play centre:

In some housing estates in the country there are playgrounds for children. These are not always maintained and with a few years they are rendered almost useless. If there are no playgrounds then the only place for kids to play is on the road or a green area in the estate. This is suitable in the summer months if it is dry. When it rains children have no option to play other than in their own homes. In Ireland that is almost half the year.

I am proposing an indoor play centre for kids. This will be set up in a high medium density residential area that has no such facilities. It will be a community run service and will be available to children all year round as somewhere to play safely and interact with others. This centre must be adaptable in use as the demographic changes. It must increase or decrease in scale as its use merits.

Site #3

The proposed site for the indoor play centre is located in the Garryowen area to the east of the city. The site is located in the middle of a large group of housing estates. The site itself is vacant.

The site has been chosen for its location in a large residential area. This site has a large catchment area for this particular brief. On inspection it is clear that there is no playground for children in the area. The available space is all outdoor space which is no good when it rains.

The aim is to give children of the surround community somewhere to play and interact all year around regardless of the weather

Brief #4


There is one library in Limerick; it is to the north of the city on the eastern side of the Shannon River. To the west of the river there are mainly residential housing estates. There is no local access to a library.

I am proposing to design a pop up library that will have a sustained position in a residential area which does not have close access to one. This library will start off small and due to its modular nature will increase in size as the demand grows.

Site #4

The proposed site for the pop up library is to the west of the city. The site is on the corner of Roses Avenue and the North Circular Road. The site is vacant and is being used as storage for building materials.

This site has been chosen because the nearest library is in the city centre. West of the Shannon makes up almost 50% of the population of the city. They are no cultural activities nearby. I feel it is necessary to have more cultural facilities available to such a large portion of the city population.

The site also has room for expansion. If the demand for the library grows then there is sufficient room to add more modules to increase the library in size.

Brief # 5

Nutritional health clinic

Currently 1 in 4 people in Ireland is classed as obese. It is putting people's lives at risk and is putting the health service in Ireland under great pressure. The Irish Heart foundation put this figure at 400 million euro [51] . An even more worrying factor is that this is spreading into children's lives also. Current statistics suggest that in children between 5 and 12, 22% are overweight or obese. Teenagers between 13 and 17 is a similar statistic, 1 in 5 are overweight or obese [52] .

There needs to be more education on nutrition and diet to combat this problem. Currently very few areas in the country have access to a clinic dealing with diet and nutrition.

The aim of this building is to reduce the obesity numbers in this country. It is intended to educate all ages in all areas of nutrition and exercise in the hope that it will improve people's standard of living and life expectancy.

Site #5

According to the Report of the national taskforce on obesity it tends to be higher in areas of lower socio economic backgrounds [53] . It also says that obesity is higher where people have no or little education. The 'Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment & Development' or RAPID program has indentified three disadvantaged areas in Limerick city. The site for this brief is concentrated on one of these areas, the Southhill area in the south of the city.

In this area education levels are lower than the norm, unemployment rates are among the highest in the city and it has been flagged as a disadvantaged area [54] . These factors make it relevant for the brief in tackling obesity.

The specific site is located on a green area beside the local junior school. It is also visible along one of the main entrances to the O Malley Park estate. This particular site will give it maximum exposure to your children and is also in full view as people enter the estate.

The nutritional health clinic will give this community access to vital nutritional education that might not be available to them already.