The Bridge Street Project looked at rediscovering the possibilities of Irish town centres through a collective re-imagining of Bridge St, Callan as a public space with a civic future. The project was developed over a year long-period as an interdisciplinary collaboration between the two disparate disciplines of theatre and architecture. Each discipline independently responded to the same challenges faced by the town centre, with the common goal of a ground up re-imagining of the civic space within Callan.
Together with Asylum Productions, a cast of community volunteers created a immersive on-site spectacle based on research gathered from the locale. The production led to a week of performances during the 2015 Abhainn Rí Festival.
Architectural interventions, realised through engagement workshops facilitated by London-based architects Studio Weave were inspired by the existing distinct infrastructure. The narrow street allows for the two sides to constantly cast shadows on the opposing facade.
This inspired a proposal to imprint each facade onto its opposite with community painting workshops, tying in with the narratives in the theatre script of different times and places coexisting, and cycles of change and transformation.
The proposal to imprint each façade onto its opposite ties in with the narratives in the theatre script of different times and places co-existing, and of cycles of change and transformation. As all the people who have lived and worked in Bridge Street over the years have affected each other, so the buildings along this narrow street have influenced each other: they bear the traces of countless iterative transformations, large and small. From the moment the painting started in June, and the street was closed for several hours a day it became a place to bump into neighbours and to stop and pause to admire it’s beauty. During this period people gave t Daily furniture making workshops were run by Studio Weave and a trained carpenter, and children could drop in and learn about operating hand tools and joining timber.heir time after work to the project and each evening the street was filled with theatre rehearsals, music, singing and people painting and making. The street painting at low level was open to everyone and the design of the paint scheme included differing levels of detail and complexity to cater for a range of skill and ability. The public furniture made as part of the project was designed as a collection of individual light weight cubes to give them flexibility. The form of the stools allowed them to be arranged in multiple configurations and enabled users to personalise their arrangement to suit their needs. The stools acted as seating and infrastructure for the Bridge Street theatre performance but their design means they can be stacked and stored easily allowing them to be retained as a community resource, providing infrastructure for future public realm activities in the town.