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IAF Melt The Walls

In summer 2019 OBFA won the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Melt the Walls competition. This open call was part of IAF’s Re-Imagine , a national campaign that works with communities across Ireland to co-create and co-design solutions to challenges identified in their locality. They sought designers and architects to engage the public in a placemaking dialogue around Library Square ,Tallaght and To reimagine spaces with public engagement at the heart of the programme.

Library Square comprises of a public space linking South Dublin County Council, Civic Theatre, Rua Red and Tallaght Library. Hundreds of people use the Square weekly, and many were not aware of what takes place in the buildings surrounding the Square. Following a lengthy Public Consultation, and then OBFA’s design selection, the Melt The Walls structure was designed to be used at the centre of conversations.

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It comprises a seating installation (made by AB Projects to OBFA’s design), which can be placed in its circular formation to host conversations about how we use our public spaces. Constructed out of metal box sections and wrapped in sheet metal and perforated skin where necessary. The structure is finished in plywood withs adds warmth and offers an invitation to sit collectively. Moreover, Melt the Walls was designed in 3 sections, which can me removed adjusted and adapted to its setting.

Tallaght Community Arts, one of the original commissioners of Melt the Walls (with IAF and South Dublin County Council), programmed a lively list of cultural events to take place during September 2019, including Culture Night 2019. Tallaght Library hosted a parent/toddler session, and poetry reading with Melt The Walls at its centre. When it was time for the installation to leave Library Square, the public and the commissioners wished it could be used again to open a dialogue about people’s relationships with their environment, somewhere new.


Melt The Walls, is an evolving design installation, as it was designed to be open and accessible, to respond to the location in which it is placed. By designing a circular structure on which events can be experienced, the circle can accommodate and welcome a variety of forums. Circles have no beginning or end, they represent life and the lifecycle and Circles have been used for generations to represent unity but they also have a free sense of movement. The conversations that take place around Melt the Walls are varied relating to the events programmed but always using the installation as the platform on which to place those ideas.

Photography by Paul McCarthy

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Tallaght, Dublin
Irish Architecture Foundation Reimagine_Melt the walls Winner