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Made in Cork. A Visitors Hostel. Reclaim, Reactivate, Disperse, Uncover.

Part 1 Project 2014
Naomi Lawlee
University College Cork Cork | Ireland
The concept for this project began with a rigorous investigative mapping exercise where I discovered many aspects of the city which I failed to identify before. I discovered laneways which were reminiscent of Corks medieval history but I also observed that due to the palimpsested nature of these spaces that much of this history had been eradicated over time. I also discovered that Cork had its very own Pet Architecture which in many ways offered the same richness as these laneways as it created a much denser city. I therefore set out in my project to reinstate these lost densities by reclaiming residual sites within the city. I chose to reactivate them through a series of projects which I called Pet Architecture pieces. These pieces functions would largely be determined by their existing site context. Therefore the project offered a unique complexity whereby each individual site called upon its own brief. This led me to uncover Georges Perrec and his book Species of Spaces and other Pieces. Perrecs ideas of dispersal provided the inspiration I needed to progress with the project. An assembly of ideas about each site and a relentless ambition to address the decline of footfall in Cork City led me to believe that a hostel brief might just be the answer to my question. It offered the flexibility I needed to overcome the constraints that such small sites presented and it also aided in enticing people to visit the city which was imperative to the core ideas of the project. I therefore chose to fragment a hostel brief and disperse it across the city. I assigned an activity to each site and explored the relationship of these activities with each other. The result was a rational whereby I organised the Pet Architectures into zones. The zones were decided upon varying degrees of security, in accordance with the type of accommodation. The result is a hostel which blurs our notions of boundaries and thresholds. A visitor, who uses this hostel, uses this city to circulate between each space. It therefore forms an interactive platform which enables the user to uncover a new Cork.
Naomi Lawlee


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