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Constructing Decay

Part 2 Project 2021
Donal Ó'Cionnfhaolaidh
University College Dublin | Ireland
“We are all lichens”
- Scott Gilbert

Ireland’s damp climate is conducive for creating ruins. Timber quickly rots away, masonry is soon overgrown. Landscapes, once razed to make way for human consumption are re-colonized, becoming denser and richer than before. The process of re-colonization is slow and unassuming.

This thesis explores and evaluates the ecological significance of decay by conducting deep surveys of the Portlaw Cotton Mill through a variety of scales and mediums.

The resultant project is a collection of ideas, culminating in a series of interventions which offer an alternative approach to re-use, rather than a singular designed piece of architecture. These provocations examine the relationship between new and old, testing the possibilities of constructing within a biodiverse landscape.

Re-framing the process of dereliction and decay as an opportunity for ecological growth, can new narratives and meaning be found in our historical fabric?

This thesis quietly tackles the climate crisis through subtle, minor moves and careful observations, demonstrating the unforeseen consequences of an ill conceived foundation, or unthinking demolition of an old wall.

Donal Ó'Cionnfhaolaidh

David Leech
Orla Murphy
Emmett Scanlon
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