Projects / StreetSpace Sailortown 2019/20

A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD: DANCE THERAPY & FEMINIST EMBODIED KNOWLEDGE IN SAILORTOWN, BELFAST

Hannah Miskimmon

CORPORATION STREET VIEW

“The following project explores the ritualised nature of dance. It understands dance as both a form of practice-based therapy and theoretical mode of inquiry into notions of embodied knowledges. Building upon my own primary research into the women of Sailortown in downtown Belfast, and key literature that has informed my design, this projects does not merely aim to provide a safe space for women to congregate, discuss, and express themselves in downtown Belfast but takes feminist modes of thinking as a way of accommodating and supporting a larger demographic and minority groups. The design intent was simple: to create an architecture which encapsulates inclusivity through the removal of boundaries both physically and theoretically. The floor plans encompass order and simplicity but the intricacies of this project come from the overlapping programme and the flexibility of space which can be orchestrated according to use. A dance of spatial and material elements.

Timber columns guide you through the main performance space providing rhythm to a vast open area through repetition. Repetition is a recurring theme throughout this design whether it be form, infrastructure or the ritualistic act of performance itself. The timber-clad polycarbonate facade allows daylight to flood the main public space. The more intimate spaces are bound by board marked concrete which function as yoga and therapy rooms due to the requirement for boundaries and privacy. At night the building emanates light and glows like a lantern. The oxidised copper Dance Tower acts as a beacon of hope rising above the ephemeral glow of the building below whilst firmly grounding the building to the industrial roots of Belfast’s Dockland.”