Projects / StreetSpace Sailortown 2019/20


Nathan Cilona


” In Irish mythology, Tír na nÓg (land of young) or Tír na hÓige (land of youth) is one of the names for the celtic otherworld. Tír na nÓg is depicted as an island paradise and supernatural realm of everlasting youth, beauty, health, abundance and joy. Tír na nÓg is a place for children to gather and meet, to learn, make and perform all kinds of arts. A place for bringing the sense of community back to Sailortown.

The idea of designing this project came at first from the interviews conducted during the first semester. The work, through photographic and mapping archives, helped me get an overview of the past of Sailortown, and understand better how it became what it is today. Alongside this analytic work, a big part of the process was to conduct ethnographic research, by interviewing one or a few participants from Sailortown. I chose to make an auto-ethnographic timeline of a typical Sunday routine, by putting together all of the observations made on site, starting with the Sunday service of the church; a very special moment where what is left of the community of Sailortown meet on the footpaths of a closed church and pray together. An interesting moment that highlighted the lack of a place for the community to gather and meet, and this is where the project begun.

From there, I chose to create a place that will be on the center of Sailortown (Corporation Street, according to our mapping research), a place more vibrant that brings some life back to the neighbourhood and a place for everyone belonging to the community.

Responding to different housing projects just across the road of my site, a place for children seemed to be necessary to make people ‘live’ in Sailortown again. However, with a site of this scale, I thought it could be interesting to add some other activities that could bring more people in than just children and their parents. That’s why, from a kindergarten, it became also an art centre for kids with after school clubs like painting or dance, and a community centre with some shops, lecture room and offices for the SHIP (Shared History Interactive Project), the association working on the archives of Sailortown.”