Irish Film Institute at Phibsboro Shopping Centre
This project aims to reimagine the controversial Phibsboro shopping centre as the cultural hub of the Irish Film Institute. The relocation of a cultural institution to the shopping centre, referred to as a “dreary landmark”, hopes to highlight the potential of a building that continually attracts negativity and calls for demolition. The concept references both film projection and the architectural features of the building. Experiments were undertaken by projecting light through negative prints of images of the building. These experiments inspired forms that carve out portals within the structure with the intention of framing views and transporting the end-user to different areas within the building, referencing film’s ability to transport viewers to other worlds. The concept aims to create an immersive experience that places the end-user not just as an observer, but as an active participant (or actor) within the space. In A Critical Appraisal of the Phibsboro Shopping Centre, the Brutalist structure is described as resembling “a temporary concrete spaceship docked in the red-brick suburb”. This project leans into the science-fiction quality of the structure by referencing seminal films within the genre, like Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Each space is considered in a way that aims to transport the end-users to an other-worldly environment, again reflecting the power of film and its ability to precisely do that.