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Competition: Monaghan Peace Campus, Ireland

Monaghan County Council has launched a design competition for a new €9 million peace campus in Ireland (Deadline: 14 July)

Planned to complete in 2021, the project aims to promote peace, reconciliation and social inclusion in the region close to the border with Northern Ireland which suffered from sectarian violence in the past.

The contest seeks ‘ambitious and iconic’ proposals for the new building which will feature a community hub, youth club, library and a cultural heritage centre.

Ireland

Ireland

Source: Image by Eric Jones

Monaghan

New facilities for the Ulster Scots Agency – which promotes Ulster-Scots as a living language – will also be included alongside a large civic square, car parking and an outdoor play area.

According to the brief: ‘The project is to be an integrated development that will bring together a number of elements and to be a key component in the regeneration of north part of Monaghan town.’

The document continued: ‘The project is to create a cohesive society through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

‘The design should have regard to the scale and character of development in the area; it should provide a positive contribution to the streetscape and should be a regional landmark development.’

The campus will occupy a 6,600m² former council depot overlooking a prominent junction of the main roads to Dublin and Derry.

Ireland

Ireland

Monaghan Peace Campus site

Nearby landmarks within the northern part of the historic county town include a Garda station, fire station, Monaghan bus station and a Lidl store.

The Monaghan Peace Campus will host intergenerational programmes and exhibitions focusing on the causes of prejudice and conflict.

The cultural heritage centre will feature historical artefacts and displays focussing on the natural landscape of the border region. Information about cultural history, early literature, music, song, art, customs, beliefs, traditions and folklore will also be included.

Monaghan’s existing branch library will meanwhile be relocated inside the new campus with shelf space for around 40,000 volumes.

New meeting rooms, business incubator units, outreach areas and space for anchor tenants will furthermore be delivered as part of the community hub.

The competition comes more than three years after Daniel Libeskind and Belfast-based McAdam Design won panning permission for an £18 million peace centre on the site of Northern Ireland’s former Maze Prison.

The project however stalled in the summer of 2013 after the European Union withdrew funding amid deteriorating relations between Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin.

Proposals should be fully accessible, flexible and feature natural ventilation and high-quality artificial lighting. Whole life energy, water and CO2 costs of the building must also be considered in line with environmental standards such as BREEAM.

How to apply

Deadline

4pm on 14 July

Contact details

Alan Hall
Monaghan County Council
The Glen
Co. Monaghan
Monaghan
Ireland

Tel: +353 4730500
Email: secretar@monaghancoco.ie
Fax: +353 4782739

View the contract notice for more information

Peres Centre for Peace case study: Q&A with Massimiliando and Doriana Fuksas

The co-founders of Studio Fuksas discuss lessons learned designing a peace centre for Tel Aviv, Israel

Studio Fuksas

Studio Fuksas

Source: Image by Fabio Lovino

Massimiliando and Doriana Fuksas

What are the core requirements of a modern peace centre such as your Peres facility?

It’s very important that the centre has a number of areas open to the public (for example library, exhibition, documentation centre, auditorium) to be open for the community around it. But what’s important is that there is a clear vision, as Shimon Peres had – he really wanted this place to become the new seat to discuss the Middle East peace process, a real place to devote to peace.

Which material, structural and other techniques are available to architects seeking to achieve a similar success?

I won’t specify any material structure or technique since nowadays there are plenty of possibilities for architects. Peace is a spiritual condition, an aspiration, temptation and utopia. The projection of will into the future is also an expression of hope that our children and future generations will live in a better world. Peace is a sensation of fullness and serenity that can be communicated through a place or through architecture.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel

Source: Image by Amit Geron

Peres Centre for Peace by Studio Fuksas

For this project I thought of a series of layers, a building representing time and patience in strata of alternating materials representing places that have suffered heavily. The concrete is composed of alternating and superimposed types of sand and aggregate. A stone basement to raise the building, a meeting place from which two long staircases lead to a place of ‘rest’, whose size and height, full of light from above, help us to forget the troubles of the world and fill us with the positive attitude that is needed for our meeting with other men and other women.

The outside of the building has alternate layers of concrete and translucent glass. The transparency of the glass filters the light through to the inside during the day, and by night will send it back outside, entrusting this magical image with the spiritual and concrete message the site will inspire.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel

Source: Image by Amit Geron

Peres Centre for Peace by Studio Fuksas

What considerations are important when designing a peace centre in a urban area with a history of conflict such as Monaghan?

Architecture today must set itself as an aid, a hand to help us cope with difficulties. This project represents the venue for encounters, debate, reasoning and finding solutions. But it is located an area of conflict, as the Peres Centre – located in the city of Jaffa which is home to Arabs and Jews – so it’s very important that the building is a symbol of invention, innovation and change. It should also attract people and possess some iconic qualities that make it a landmark for the community and a key component in the regeneration of a suffering area.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel

Source: Image by Amit Geron

Peres Centre for Peace by Studio Fuksas