GLASNEVIN CHAPEL

 

“Scattered ruins same grey as the sand ash grey true refuge. Four square all light sheer white blank planes all gone from mind. Never was but grey air timeless no sound figment the passing light. No sound no stir ash grey sky mirrored earth mirrored sky. Never but this changelessness dream the passing hour”.

 

Samuel Beckett Lessness (SANS), line 2. 1970.

 

Analogous to the ‘landscapes’ of light, sky, and earth as described by Beckett, and inspired by the founding

vision for Glasnevin that it is a place for “all religions and none”, we came to understand that the architectural environment

for the centenary chapel must be capable of engaging multiple fields of form and other phenomena. The architectural

elements and the chapel must also be defined by its ability to make-a-place, and capable of being instrumental in developing its own contextualising environment- in both physical and spiritual terms. If one of the difficulties of architecture is to “give

form” to something, then its opposite is represented in the act of death, where a life form becomes acknowledged through

acts of remembrance. There are other reminders required here also- particularly those 232 souls who are interred on the

adjacent site in the 1916 mass grave, and others again who make up the countless numbers in marked and unmarked graves in both St. Paul’s Cemetery and Glasnevin Cemetery. Our ambition, is that the sacred landscape we provide will be a place that allows visitors to become aware of the various forms of memory- from the past to the present, and begin to situate their own finiteness amongst a space of reflection, of mourning, and in forms of shadow and light.

 

Designers : Jason O'Shaughnessy and Eoin French

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