Irish Architecture

Reimagine Workers’ Villages is a celebration of the work and legacy of architect Frank Gibney by the Irish Architecture Foundation, and the contribution of the communities that were created through his innovative Bord na Móna villages. Built in the 1950s to house the growing workforce for the national peat industry, they represented a new departure in rural housing and continue to provide lessons in compact, sustainable design.

The Irish Architecture Foundation will be at this year’s Ploughing Championships to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the heritage and history of these villages that
played an integral role in Ireland’s development. Through a specially created exhibition and a series of talks we will celebrate the stories of the Bord na Móna workers and families who made the village their home, and discuss what a sustainable future might look like.

The exhibition will delve into the social history of the villages, with video interviews and exhibition materials for visitors to look through and get a sense of what life in the villages were
like during their time as Bord na Móna estates. We also invite any visitors with a connection to any of Frank Gibney’s worker estates across Ireland to share their own stories.

On Wednesday 21st, the Creative Ireland stage will host a talk with community members and architects from the Reimagine project teams in Cloontuskert, Roscommon and Kilcormac,
Offaly. The talk will focus on community experiences living and working in Frank Gibney’s BNM villages, the joint experiences of community members and architect teams of being involved with the Reimagine project, an overview of the great work being done in each of the villages at the moment and discussions around what each community would like to see happening with the future of their villages.

Workers’ Villages project is funded through Creative Ireland’s Creative Climate Action Fund, aimed at supporting communities at the heart of Ireland’s Just Transition process.