Paloma Rua-Figueroa

Fishing was the primary industry for decades in Connemara, West Ireland. However, the commercial fishing industry has changed considerably over the years. Export businesses are taking away the process and production from local fishermen and into factories.

A new contemporary harbour and market has been developed to accommodate the local fishermen, providing facilities for them to catch, process and sell their product, as well as a place of enjoyment for the public. The visitor would see the fish and the algae come straight from where it is harvested, to it being prepared for purpose. By merging culture and pleasure, this proposal aims to revitalise the old fishermen community, exploiting the rich fishing resource in the locality.

A procedure is being established to ensure the fishing will be sustainable. The fish that enter the building will be documented through an ancient Japanese technique called Gyotaku, rubbing ink from cuttlefish and squid onto the body of the fish, and then gently pressing seaweed pater onto it.

Alongside fishing, Connemara seaweed harvesting is a long-lasting business for fishermen, providing additional income. A harvesting area is allocated in the harbour where fishermen can collect the algae from the nets stretched between high poles. The algae is then processed to be used as an editable or therapeutic product, to be enjoyed the building.

©2019 by UNIT 17, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL