Irish Design 2015 presents New Horizon_Architecture from Ireland at London Festival of Architecture

Posted 29.05.15

Irish Design 2015 presents New Horizon_architecture from Ireland:  architectural installations from the Focus Country for LFA15

London Festival of Architecture 2015 (LFA) will be the first outing of New Horizon_architecture from Ireland, a series of presentations of the work of 10 emerging Irish practices, in three high-profile venues around the world. New Horizon_architecture from Ireland forms part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), a year-long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally. 

New Horizon_architecture from Ireland has been conceived and curated by Raymund Ryan Curator, Heinz Architectural Center, Pittsburgh and Nathalie Weadick Director, Irish Architecture Foundation and Advisor to ID2015. The practices selected as part of the New Horizon_architecture from Ireland international show are TAKA, Clancy Moore, Hall McKnight, Steve Larkin, GKMP, A2, Ryan Kennihan, AP+E, Urban Agency and Emmett Scanlon, across 3 cities in one year: London, Chicago and Shenzhen.

Chosen by London Festival of Architecture (LFA) as the inaugural Focus Country for this edition, the five Irish practices in the London activity are TAKA, Clancy Moore, Hall McKnight, Steve Larkin and Emmett Scanlon. This collaborative project seeks to explore in detail the theme of the festival, “Work in Progress”, at a city scale. Architects were asked to make something, which expressed their position or point of view in architecture. The result is two pavilions in the Public Realm in Kings Cross and one installation in The Tank at the Design Museum.

The two Pavilions at Kings Cross start with the observation that the city is a permanent work in progress. The City is a collective work made and remade continually by many hands over time, and acts at once as both archive and laboratory. Located on Cubitt Square in a part of London that is undergoing dramatic transformation, these forces are particularly evident. The four practice collaboration between Hall McKnight, TAKA, Clancy Moore and Steve Larkin will see the construction of two pavilions - one red and one yellow. These will act as both a background to the life of the square and a series of markers between Granary Square to Cubitt Square and beyond to Cubitt Park. The Yellow pavilion explores how the phenomenon of the city is assembled from individual pieces, while the Red Pavilion explores architecture’s role as a background to the activities it contains and bounds.

Emmett Scanlon’s exhibition Nine Lives states an ambition to discuss and explore the space between architectural production and consumption. Showcased in the Tank at the Design Museum, the objective is less about constructing a built contribution and more about working across architecture at a research, policy and curatorial level. His task as one of the architects in the initiative is to present the work of his peers, the other practices in New Horizon_architecture from Ireland London, US and China editions.

Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD said: “The aim of Irish Design 2015 is to bring visibility to Ireland’s dynamic design businesses, supporting them in trading in competitive foreign markets and ultimately creating jobs at home. New Horizon_architecture from Ireland offers a unique opportunity to promote emerging Irish practices working in the architecture and built environment space to discerning audiences in high profile venues around the world. New Horizon’s presence at the London Festival of Architecture and the subsequent installments at Chicago Architecture Biennial and the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture will be instrumental in positioning design at the heart of our creative economy and in growing Ireland’s reputation abroad as a source of innovative design products and services.”

"We are extremely honoured that Ireland has been selected as the inaugural Focus Country for London Festival of Architecture. Promoting Irish businesses working in the architecture and built environment space is one of the highlights of the Irish Design 2015 programme as we showcase the work of talented Irish designers around the world, developing commercial opportunities and establishing strategic partnerships for the ongoing development of this vibrant sector. New Horizon_architecture from Ireland takes its inspiration from important thresholds in the history of contemporary Irish architecture, where the scope of this work is drawn from both Irish and global design culture. It looks to a better future,” said Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive, Irish Design 2015. 

The practices being presented during London Festival of Architecture 2015 are: 

·       Emmett Scanlon -

·       Clancy Moore (led by partners Andrew Clancy MRIAI and Colm Moore ARB (UK)) - 

·       TAKA (led by partners Alice Casey ARB (UK) and Cian Deegan MRIAI) -

·       Steve Larkin - 

·       Hall McKnight - 

Detailed notes on the installations launching 1st June:

The Red Pavilion – King’s Cross
The Red Pavilion, developed by TAKA, Clancy Moore Architects and Steve Larkin Architects sits at the north of Cubitt Square. Their pavilion is a speculation on types of public space, from larger formal structures like market halls, arcades, loggias and drainage networks, to more discrete, ad hoc moments such as doorways, niches, stairs, bay windows, park benches and even street lamps. They have assembled these into a series of spaces that sit between Cubitt Square and Cubitt Park. At once festive hall and formal façade, the pavilion is a temporary piece of civic infrastructure. When the architects were asked to participate they elected to pool their budgets into something larger than an exploration of individual authorship. Therefore, much like the city, their pavilion is a collective work.

It is envisaged that day-to-day the Red Pavilion will act as a curiosity, drawing people up from Granary Square and subsequently introducing them to Cubitt Park beyond. The same relationship is envisaged in reverse when viewing or approaching from the park. Events within the pavilion will also engender a conversation between those people who occupy the formal square and the informal park.  Red Pavilion by TAKA, Clancy Moore and Steve Larkin in King’s Cross, as part of ID2015’s New Horizon_architecture from Ireland.
Red Pavilion by TAKA, Clancy Moore and Steve Larkin in King’s Cross, as part of ID2015’s New Horizon_architecture from Ireland
Red Pavilion by TAKA, Clancy Moore and Steve Larkin in King’s Cross, as part of ID2015’s New Horizon_architecture from Ireland

The Yellow Pavilion – King’s Cross
The Yellow Pavilion is manufactured from a kit of pieces cut from boards and assembled in units. Hall McKnight were interested in recognising how pieces of individual character and identity can combine to contribute to, and sustain the idea of city. The pavilion contains an installation that is an allegory of the city as an open project – alive, ongoing. The pavilion is a vehicle to carry a collection of bricks that speaks of a city as a work in progress. The project belongs to the city and, just as a city is a collection of many projects made by many, both the bricks’ characteristics of individuality and collected cohesion are expressed.

The bricks have already had a life within a terraced street in Belfast – now they have another life as they are being modified and worked with – their individuality being amplified through that process. They are placed in the Yellow Pavilion with renewed value – collectively defining a space yet valued individually. During this process – the bricks have described or occupied a range of different spaces; stacked on 2 pallets, solid and uniform, laid out as a grid on the upper floor of the flax mill in which Hall McKnight have their studio, from there they have been taken away and worked upon, to return back again to the mill before being arrayed within the pavilion. Like their original use in a street, their installation within the pavilion allows them to contribute to the definition of space.

Throughout, they have remained unchanged as individual pieces, however their placing and arrangement has allowed them to assume different forms and expressions; to adjust and amplify spaces in a range of ways. The city as a collection – streets, experiences, buildings, memories, people. Bricks seem to absorb and hold memories – occupying both the old city and expecting the new one. Yellow Pavilion by Hall McKnight Architects in King’s Cross.

Yellow Pavilion by Hall McKnight Architects in King’s Cross.

The Tank – Design Museum
Emmett Scanlon’s exhibition Nine Lives in the Tank at the Design Museum presents an extract of the life stories of nine built spaces in Ireland by the 9 other Irish practices participating in New Horizon_architecture from Ireland. Each has a life story, begun by someone, somewhere, with a significant architectural chapter, and then with new, ongoing contributions written, over time, by those that use, occupy, appropriate, alter and consume the spaces – the spaces are in themselves works in progress. The spaces shown may be those of work, or live-work, or home-work, some as specifically designed work spaces, others will have emerged into work spaces or spaces of social production over time, in an ad-hoc manner.

The installation will present, in parallel, both the architectural chapters of each space (architects drawings and publicity photographs used when the projects were ‘architecturally’ complete), and the stories of appropriation and use of the spaces (new drawings and photographs of the spaces as found today).

Capitalising on the 24 hour, 3D nature of the Tank, the photographs and drawings will hang from a series of suspended rods. Design production and creative consumption are therefore juxtaposed. A space exists between these two fields – this space is conceptually key to the project, firstly representing the stories of spaces that are not yet written and of which we cannot yet be aware or control. Secondly it states an ambition to further research, discuss and explore this space between architectural production and occupational consumption, a space that is sometimes contested.

New Photography:
 Noel Bowler, Rachel Glass, Matthew Thompson New Drawing: Jennifer O’Donnell and Jonathan Janssens. Existing Photography: Alice Clancy, Ros Kavanagh, Marie-Louise Halpenny, Paul Tierney.

Selected highlights from the ID2015/New Horizon_architecture from Ireland Events/Talks during June:

Venue: Lewis Cubitt Square King’s Cross, 
London N1C 4AA

  • 1pm Tuesday 2nd  June: Curators + Architects Tour New Horizon_architecture from Ireland
  • 6pm Thursday 4th June:  Who'd be a Young Architect?
  • 11am Saturday 13th June: Of Clay and Wattles Made - To coincide with the poet's 150th birthday, architects read selected works by WB Yeats. In association with the British Council.

Venue: Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD.
11am Sunday  7th June, 14th June, 21st June: Drop in Talk
Nine Lives/New Horizon with Emmett Scanlon, Architect & Curator.

Venue: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA, United Kingdom
18.30 Tuesday 30th June: We Built this City
A lively panel discussion about the impact the Irish have on the physical and societal development of London from historic to contemporary times, presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation in collaboration with Irish Design 2015 and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

About Irish Design 2015:
Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) is a year-long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness. The programme for the year includes presenting the work of Irish designers at high profile events in design capitals including London, Paris, Eindhoven, Milan, New York, Chicago and Hong Kong/Shenzhen.  ID2015 is being convened by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), in collaboration with partner organisations, on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland. ID2015 partners include Founding Partners – MCO Projects; Accommodation Partners – The Doyle Collection; Venue Partners – OPW; Exhibition Partners – DAA; Technology Partners – IBM; Transport Partners – Bus Éireann Expressway and Media Partners – RTÉ.

About New Horizon_architecture from Ireland:
New Horizon draws its inspiration from important thresholds in the history of contemporary Irish architecture. In 1991 eight practices working collaboratively as Group 91 won the master plan competition for Temple Bar in Dublin City Centre; born in the 1950s, several of these architects have gone on to significant international careers. Between Ireland’s initial Venice Pavilion in 2000 and the most recent in 2014, key architects of the generation born in the 1960s have represented Ireland with flair at the prestigious Venice Biennale International Exhibition of Architecture. The architects participating in New Horizon belong to the next generation. Born after the 1970s and educated on the cusp of the new millennium, they commenced practice as Europe’s economy encountered formidable challenges. These new practices have not only weathered that storm, they exhibit resourcefulness and optimism in their profession. Each has found a way to practice critically, to look at what exists in nature and the built environment, to discover potential in previously overlooked situations, to collaborate across disciplines and evolve new modes of practice for the 21st century.

About London Festival of Architecture:
The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) celebrates London as a global hub of architectural experimentation, practice and debate. Under its Chair, Patricia Brown, together with founding partners The Architecture Foundation, New London Architecture, and RIBA London, the annual festival provokes questions about the contemporary and future life of the city, and promotes positive change to its public realm. The city-wide programme is delivered by leading cultural and academic institutions alongside associated projects by practices and individuals.    #LFA2015; @LFArchitecture;

About Design Museum:
The Design Museum is one of the world’s leading museums devoted to architecture and design. Its work encompasses all elements of design, including fashion, product and graphic design. Since it opened its doors in 1989 the museum has displayed everything from an AK-47 to the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress. It has staged over 100 exhibitions, welcomed over five million visitors and showcased the work of some of the world’s most celebrated designers including Thomas Heatherwick, Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, Miuccia Prada, Frank Gehry, Eileen Gray and Dieter Rams. The Design Museum is relocating from its current home at Shad Thames to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, West London. The project is expected to be completed by 2016. Leading designer John Pawson will convert the interior of the Commonwealth Institute building to create a new home for the Design Museum giving it three times more space in which to show a wider range of exhibitions, showcase its world class collection and significantly extend its learning programme.

- ends -

For further information and high res images, please contact:

Katherine Sandford-Anderson | Sandford PR | (UK)
Leslie Curtis | Sandford PR | (UK)
Cristina Belmonte | Sandford PR | (All other media)

Aoife Smith | Elevate PR | | (Ireland)
Sorcha Furlong | Elevate PR | | (Ireland)
Tara Walsh | Elevate PR | | (Ireland)   Tel: + 353 (0)1 662 5652 

Download this Press Release here.


Follow ID2015 on social media:

Instagram:  @irishdesign2015

Twitter:  @irishdesign2015

Facebook:  Irish Design 2015

#ID2015    #irishdesign2015    #loveireland 


New Horizon_architecture from Ireland Curators:
Raymund Ryan, Curator, Heinz Architectural Center, Pittsburgh
Nathalie Weadick, Director, Irish Architecture Foundation and Advisor to ID2015.

Principal New Horizon_architecture from Ireland Partners:
John Sisk and Son Ltd, Coillte Panel Products, Wood Marketing Federation, Glennon Brothers Timber Ltd, COFORD/Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Marley Eternit Ltd, Keim Mineral Paint Ltd.

New Horizon_architecture from Ireland Partners:
3Interiors Contracts Ltd, Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd, Wilson Conservation Building Products, Colourtrend, Prop Me Up, Johnson Tiles UK, London Festival of Architecture, British Council, Argent (Property Development) Services LLP, King’s Cross Estate Services, Irish Architecture Foundation, Arup.

New Horizon_architecture from Ireland Participants:
Casey O’Rourke Associates, Design ID Ltd, GEM Construction Ltd, Mathew O’Malley Timber Ltd, LED Linear, Light Bureau Ltd, Architectural FX, University of Ulster, Sheffield School of Architecture, Terry Design.

London Festival Architecture _Ireland Country of Focus

< back