Year | 2011
Location | Forkhill, Northern Ireland
Client | Forkhill and District Development Association

Live Project 9 focussed on the development of a former military barracks site in Forkhill, a rural village in Northern Ireland. Due to its location close to the border with the Republic of Ireland, Forkhill has had an unsettled local history, with a heavy involvement in “The Troubles”.

The helicopter barracks, a British Army base, was an imposing presence in the centre of this rural community for over 30 years. The site, which now lies empty, is being re-developed. A masterplan has already been submitted for the site, but rejected by the local community group – FADDA, our client.

We took time to understand the rural setting, the politics and history of the area, community attitudes towards the barracks and its effect on everyday life. A complex political situation with funding at stake, an ignorant housing scheme developed without any masterplan, the scale of the site, and low aspirations are just some of the challenges we faced.

We produced a series of documents, exploring large, small and medium ideas for the site. It is not a single consolidated masterplan but a wide spectrum of ideas and propositions that the community can piece together or mix and match. Our involvement was not only an important part of informing the next masterplan, but also in inspiring the community to the potential of the site and future opportunities, and to demand a greater quality of design. They now acknowledge the individuality of the site and village, as well as recognise that Forkhill could set a precedent for similar development projects in the future.

“The community group has been empowered with a fresh knowledge and awareness of the issues and potential of the development…and has also been gifted with many new ideas about what the site could become.” – Fearghal Murray, FADDA consultant

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