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Part 2 Project 2011
Catriona Hickey
Ulster University, UK
Gaston Bachelard said that the home sustains man,
"through the storms of the sky.... and against the storms of man".
The subject of homelessness provides a stark social reality. Many people who we would not
normally associate with being at risk , are now finding themselves without a home. Temporary accommodation is a lifeline to provide shelter and support and most importantly a sense of belonging.

Camping -with its transitional nature of occupancy- provided me conceptually with a useful precedent for this project. I began by fabricating a temporary folded plane that became a transient home and which I took round different locations in the city making it a table, bed, chair, and shelter as needed.

The site is in a Belfast car park, situated in a disparate urban location next to the main railway station linking North to South. It forms a terra nullius within the city. Between the city centre and a run down housing scheme the site lends itself to notions of liminality: on the threshold of domesticity yet also on a perceived edge of the political and social forces in Belfast.
Journey is used as a metaphor for the building. Sanctuary, shelter, transience and epiphany were identified as stages of the personal search to find a home in the city.
Sanctuary presents itself in the form of a 'hortus conclusus' . The form of the individual 'houses' are generous in space, yet compact through the detailed design of a single piece of all encompassing furniture (the wooden tents). This functions as one wooden object within the space while being associatively connected to notions of St Jerome in his study. It frames the
possessions of each temporary occupier.
A staircase rises up into a tower, which serves to address the social importance of the building and in turn becomes a social place to meet and feel connected within the hidden garden.
Protective solidity is felt in the massive concrete walls of the 'big house': portraying the permanence of the communal shared functions, whilst the timber panel construction of the housing units allows the density of occupation to change and express the temporality of home.

Catriona Hickey

Mr Paul Clarke
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