Dublin Port Perspectives
In collaborazione con Atelier Francis
“We are looking to the arts to help us to deliver a message…”
Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company
CULTURE AND REGENERATION – sustainable development within a framework of temporary reuse.
The methodology of temporary reuse is a renewal process with a cultural emphasis. It serves to test ideas, to
give visibility to and create awareness of the potential for regeneration in abandoned spaces. It is undertaken
in a series of progressive steps that address the needs for restoration and services on a site.
Reuse projects discover and revive the architectural and social potential of places, reclaiming them through
artistic and architectural interventions, cultural events and participatory and interdisciplinary contributions.
In the absence of economic resources, temporary reuse allows activities and facilitates the financing of the
gradual recovery of a place. It is inclusive and involves the community. This approach nurtures engagement
and the mix of skills and visions reveals opportunities for social and cultural growth. The aim is to encourage
debate, to encourage exchange and to raise awareness.
The steps are as follows:
– analysis of the context and feasibility
– placement of structures, temporary installations such as containers, boxes, platforms, to allow the use of the
spaces for events, work, creative production, residence and meetings.
– installation of primary services
– involvement of artists, cultural associations, professional and amateur sports people, students, harnessing
their optimism, creativity and enthusiasm.
-progressive restoration and conservation of existing structures
The result is the regeneration and transformation into a ‘container / incubator’ of temporary functions. Art,
architecture, culture and sustainability combine utilising temporary events to achieve permanent
improvements in a site’s infrastructure.
The MEME BOX is the first intervention in this process for Dublin port. A visible object, it facilitates the
progressive activation of different areas of the port. It is created from materials that are indigenous to the port
context which are transformed to act a beacon, a point of reference for the regeneration process. A
programme of cultural events, each designed in a way to address a particular issue, engages the community so
that is a social, cultural and economic activator.
This installation is created from two used shipping containers. They are stacked, connected and modified to
create a flexible space that houses an exhibition and contains services to allow temporary cultural events. It is
then placed on strategic sites in the port area and facilitates a program of regeneration events.
Inside the ‘Meme Box is an exhibition on the methodology of ‘Experiments in Urban Reuse’ and the
international traveling exhibition ‘Témoignages – testimonials in urban regeneration’ that shows the work of
Irish and international artists.
To demonstrate the potential of the Meme Box we present here the first proposed cultural event on site
number 9, a large-scale video mapping of the ODLUMS silos. The aim is to engage the public and to raise
awareness of the location and potential of the area. The projected conceptual art film is visible from a distance
and the positioning of the Meme Box brings the curious public to an area of the port that usually off limits.
This first event is an opportunity for communication and dialogue.
The programme can then be extended to other sites where the box can be aggregated with other modules to
create new spaces and places depending on the desired use. It can be used as a gallery (for example on site 5),
as artist studios (site 4) as a sound studio for concerts or as facilities for sports events (site 3) and so on. The
services contained within allow many functions.
Each intervention creates immediate benefit and leads to the realisation of a long-term goal. Like a positive
virus it propagates and is a catalyst for renewal throughout the entire port area.