EcoLab “den talamh”

The KinShip EcoLab Competition invited professional architects, artists, designers, eco-builders or craftspeople to design and build an innovative temporary structure for Tramore Valley Park.

Opening a public conversation about material provenance, construction practices and their role in the greater climate change debate, the KinShip EcoLab Competition invited professional architects, artists, designers, eco-builders or craftspeople to design and build an innovative temporary structure; an EcoLab, for public meetings and workshops at Tramore Valley Park.

Award winning Fuinneamh Workshop Architects and Civil and Structural Engineering Advisors Ltd were announced as winners of the international KinShip EcoLab Design and Build Competition.  The competition, part of The KinShip Project by artists LennonTaylor with Cork City Council and local partners, is supported by the Creative Ireland ‘Creative Climate Action’ fund.

The winning design, titled “den talamh”, is the construction of the first public building using rammed earth in Ireland.

The EcoLab features a hipped roof and will provide a meeting point and a shelter for future activities in Tramore Valley Park. Seán Antóin Ó Muirí, Lead Architect at Fuinneamh Workshop Architects says of the design, “The building seeks to frame a view to Carroll’s Bog, a wetlands area rich with bio-diversity located in Tramore Valley Park within Cork city. The process of “compacting earth” albeit above ground, resonates with the recent history of site use as a landfill, in creating a compacted landscape.

The concept for the project, “den talamh”, refers to the idea that materials come from the ground and ultimately return to the ground and so, should be considered for their environmental impact. Primary building materials proposed for this project; earth, wood and reed have been selected for their regenerative qualities and reuse capabilities. The use of reeds in the thatched roof alludes to the reed plant of the bog on the site. Alongside the construction of the EcoLab, are demonstrations in rammed earth building, wooden roofing and thatching.

It’s envisaged that The KinShip EcoLab will enhance the sense of connection between the people of Cork and the wider community of life that inhabit Tramore Valley Park. This open competition provides the space to alter our thinking about the relationship we have with the natural world, to address the legacy of ‘throw away’ culture and to engage with new modes of sustainable construction.

Rammed Erath Demonstration
Rammed Earth Wall in progress
Hipped roof construction
Demo Series 1