Bartlett unit 17 Booklet draft 160120 .pdf

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U N I T
ST MACDARA GHOST BUILDING

w ho

we

are

s ite

o ur

p ro p o s al

col l aborat io n s

We aim to design and install a temporary structure on the MacDara Island

Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.
The Bartlett has an established history of pioneering research among
students and tutors alike. Unit 17 is run by practicing architects, Niall
McLaughlin and Michiko Sumi who encouraged us this year to undertake
an ambitious construction project sited in Ireland.
The brief asks us to construct a temporary structure in Connemara,
West Coast of Galway, relating to a remote island of St MacDara and its

This pamphlet is an introduction to our project, for more information about
this year’s brief and Unit 17 work please visit :

in May 2016. The project will be delivered and led by the students and will

We are Unit 17, a group of 8 architecture Masters Year 4 students at the

co nt ac t

aim to use a field trip to Japan as a way of enriching our design approach,
Thirteen-hundred years ago, two buildings appeared at the opposite ends

highlighting the similarities between the Japanese Ise Shrine and the

of the great Eurasian landmass. One is a Christian chapel on an island in

Christian chapel.

the west of Ireland, and the other a Shinto shrine in a forest in Japan. For
two buildings conceived in entirely disconnected cultures and time, they

Our proposal is to build a negative skeleton of the existing MacDara

show remarkable similarities; the crossing of the rafters on the gables,

chapel, creating a web of gaps which form the main enclosure. The

originally a pragmatic construction detail,has in both cases been retained

interior of the ghost structure holds beautifully crafted religious artefacts,

to serve a symbolic function. Additionally, people inhabit both buildings

which will be used during the annual MacDara pilgrimage on 16th of July.

www.unit-17.com
The project is gaining interest within the Bartlett communities as well as
London and Dublin-based architectural practices and art and architecture

For those who kindly wish to be involved in sponsorship, funding, advice or
information, please contact Malina or Henry at:

institutions in the UK and Ireland. We would like to collaborate with as

marta.dabrowska.10@ucl.ac.uk

many people interested in the project as possible and we value all input
we could get, so please do not hesitate to contact us!

Thank you for your interest, we hope to hear from you soon.

today.

Further information:
http://unit-17.com/
http://www.niallmclaughlin.com/

The building underlines the fragility of the church as an institution today,

extraordinary chapel.

compared to the time when MacDara chapel was built thirteen hundred
years ago.

UNIT 17

St MacDara Chapel

Ise Shrine

Tony (Y5) Currach and the tabernacle

http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/architecture

Chenhan (Y5) Landscape of MacDara, ink on milk

Tony (Y5) View looking out from the chapel


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