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Sam, Arthur, and the Solomonic Judgement

John Dobbin

Future Reference

In Dublin city centre, several notable erasures of twentieth-century buildings, through demolition or complete remodelling, raise questions about how we value the architecture of the recent modern past in relation to its context. Stephenson Gibney + Associates’ Molyneux House illustrates that, when architectural context is eroded, it’s often not long until the original fabric is reduced to scrap value.

Illustration of Molyneux House by Sophie Kelliher

Molyneux House represented a particular time in Irish architecture, reflecting the vigorous confidence of a brave new republic full of the optimism of the times, before the first vestiges of the energy and environmental crises of the 1970s closed the door on this period. As a bespoke environment for an architectural practice, it was absolutely unique in the country, with a facade albeit skin-deep, boldly proclaiming brutalist modernity.

In Bride Street in Dublin’s Liberties, one of the most curious incidents of Irish planning history has recently repeated itself. The striking 1970s brutalist facade of the former headquarters of architectural practice Stephenson Gibney + Associates has been retained, while the remnants of  a much-storied eighteenth and nineteenth century structure which formed a part of the same building, have been quietly demolished. In its place will be a significant new hotel, which uses the retained near-fifty-year-old facade as a contextual umbilical to the past – an arts themed relic. While the redevelopment of this site for a demonstrably more public use is certainly welcome, the brick shell will now have a merely tenuous connection to the new.

Retained Facade of Molyneux House, 2023. Photograph by John Dobbin

When Stephenson Gibney + Associates acquired the old Molyneux Chapel on Bride Street in 1971, their clients and collaborators must have thought they had lost the plot. Impacted by generational poverty, planning neglect, and demolition as a result of Dublin Corporation’s road-building efforts, it must have been a considerable cultural shock for the practice and its staff, moving from leafy Dublin 6 where the studio had been spread out over three separate Victorian properties, on the site of what became the practice’s Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in 1973. But like knights charging into a windmill bedecked landscape, Sam and Arthur clearly saw this approach as a way of spearheading a new colonisation of the city centre, which would inspire others into the same action, reclaiming one of the most historic parts of Dublin for makers and creators. And of course, it was reasonably cheap [1].  

But what kind of practice was it, with the ambition and confidence to propose colonising this historic part of the city, with the buccaneering gumption, and not least the funds to do so?  Sam was born at 80 Manor Street in Stoneybatter in 1933, while Arthur from Fairview, was a year older. They were almost exact contemporaries of the Anglo-Italian architect Richard Rogers and his one-time partner, Norman Foster. It’s remarkable to think that Sam and Arthur’s practice was substantially more accomplished, and certainly much larger at an earlier date, than the offices of these later titans of British hi-tech. By the early 1970s, when Norman Foster and Richard Rogers had dissolved their partnership of Team 4, the high-flying Stephenson Gibney Associates had completed the ESB buildings on Fitzwilliam Street, won in international competition, and were in the midst of design work on the Central Bank, the enormous Agriculture House on Kildare Street, the beautiful School of Theoretical Physics on Burlington Road, and projects in London and Brussels, as well as working on their custom-designed offices with space to accommodate a team of 130 staff.  

At the same time as the practice were completing Molyneux House, it was also concluding one of its more controversial developments on Hume Street near St Stephen’s Green. Having originally gained consent for a series of modernist office blocks, the practice was forced by public outcry over the loss of historic Georgian fabric, via government intervention, to amend the design to incorporate a Georgian pastiche facade. Stephenson lamented this approach as an architectural response in a historic cityscape, declaring it in Hibernia Magazine “a misguided Solomon’s judgement”, opening the door for anything to happen, as long as the external image of apparent streetscape continuity was maintained. His words would prove remarkably prophetic.

Ground and First Floor Sketch Plans of Molyneux House. Drawing by John Dobbin

Designed as a striking statement of intent, in a vigorous transatlantic style which referenced exemplars like Louis Kahn, John Carl Warnecke and Hugh Stubbins, the facade of heavily modelled brickwork extends about three metres in front of the existing frontage, which is retained, entombed in a brick skin. It is a remarkable brutalist essay in hard wire-cut textured masonry, carefully relating to the spaces formed between it and the gothic curiosity of the existing chapel. The facade itself was shockingly modern – aggressively so, even. Like an elaborate billboard, it heralded a world decidedly exotic, science-fiction like, most excitingly of all, American. A place where people in tan suits with wide lapels, even wider ties, and moustaches à la mode, were manufacturing a new Ireland through a haze of Rothmans' smoke, echoed in the bronze tint of the floor-to-ceiling frameless glazing. This stylish stretched veneer of modernity over the more prosaic historic backdrop, incorporated a stained-glass window spanning the first and second floors, preserved in situ as a relic behind the brick screen. The strength of this elevation as corporate identity clearly made signage superfluous. Only a small limestone tablet, insert into the Bride Street frontage, provided the name – Molyneux House – in vaguely Gothic lettering.

Much more nuanced than often credited, the facade treatment extended downward into a carpet of pavement finish, and smaller protective pyramidal forms, a kind of undulated brick carpet which remade the street edge robustly, terminating with a single specimen tree planted in the protective niche formed to the adjacent Victorian houses. The entrance sequence, lost in 2001 in favour of a car park, must have been a dramatic, even flamboyant space. Entering via a narrow passage between towering flanks of brickwork, with the obligatory chamfered corners and parapets so redolent of the period, the visitor entered a release space protected from the harsh environment outside. It was filled with a feature planting scheme and a waterfall, enlivened by the play of light entering from the west. Even the adjoining perimeter party walls were finished a textured brown render, colour matched to the ubiquitous brick finishes which continued unbroken from courtyard into the reception space adjacent. A remarkable introduction and one of the most extraordinarily theatrical spaces ever designed by an architect for their own use.

It couldn’t last, of course. By 1974, a collapse in the property market had already impacted on the work of the practice, eroding the kind of projects that had kept it so busy over the previous fifteen years. This pre-empted Arthur’s departure from the partnership in 1976, keen to practice in a smaller organisation, leaving – according to Sam – on the same good terms that they started together. The construction of Canon Court, across Bride Street, obscured the view of the cathedral from the upper ‘periscope’ viewing room, decontextualising the reason for the facade. In the 1980s, Sam moved much of his practice to work on London-based projects from both Dublin and a new base in London, having arranged a merger with commercial architectural practice Stone Toms. Another downturn in the early 90s in London, resulting in the sale of the building, provided the impetus for a new owner to erode the key components of the original, in search of more standard spaces. The process of denuding the qualities of the original work, had already begun.

Second and Third Floor plans of Molyneux House. Drawing by John Dobbin

Molyneux House represented a particular time in Irish architecture, reflecting the vigorous confidence of a brave new republic full of the optimism of the times, before the first vestiges of the energy and environmental crises of the 1970s closed the door on this period. As a bespoke environment for an architectural practice, it was absolutely unique in the country, with a facade albeit skin-deep, boldly proclaiming brutalist modernity. 

In a world of city planning increasingly obsessed with the value of image as opposed to content, how do we decide what to protect? This is a particularly difficult question, given modern architecture’s supposed ambivalence to context, in contrast to the gentle formalism of classicism, which ensures that individual buildings are less important than the effect of the unified streetscape – despite being what Sir John Summerson described in the Georgian Society Bulletin as “simply one damned house after another” [2]. In addition to the obvious imperative for retaining carbon-rich structures for new uses, the bluntness of our Protected Structure system will need to be better refined, to allow status to be conferred on particular building elements of significance, rather than on a blanket basis. In the case of Molyneux House, perhaps the most humane thing would have been to allow it to go, rather than endure a slower, undignified demise.

In contrast with the theatre of practice it once contained, it is now sadly a pantomime mask. The personages behind the facade, along with their pioneering spirit, are long gone.

Internal office space prior to demolition. Photograph by John Dobbin

In addition to the obvious imperative for retaining carbon-rich structures for new uses, the bluntness of our Protected Structure system will need to be better refined, to allow status to be conferred on particular building elements of significance, rather than on a blanket basis.

Future Reference is a time capsule. It features opinion-pieces that cover the current developments, debates, and trends in the built environment. Each article assesses its subject through a particular lens to offer a different perspective. For all enquiries and potential contributors, please contact

Future Reference is supported by the Arts Council through the Architecture Project Award Round 2 2022.


1. £60,000 bought the shell and site of the old Molyneux Chapel, which had previously been converted into a recreation hall for the nearby Jacobs biscuit factory. Before this, the building had an auspicious history, adjoining the site of Molyneux House to the south, and being constructed as equestrian performer Philip Astley’s Amphitheatre of Horsemanship in 1788. After the Act of Union, it became a theatre, before being converted to religious use as part of an asylum for blind females housed in Molyneux House, in turn demolished in 1947. It was this storied yet crumbling shell which the practice acquired as the skeleton of a consolidated headquarters in 1971.

2. Modern architecture at mid-century was – with few exceptions – unconcerned with issues of streetscape and continuity, preferring the ideal of the isolated object building, set in stark contrast to traditional urbanism. As the postmodern architect Robert AM Stern has noted, the Seagram Building in Manhattan is magnificent in its more traditional urban context; but ten Seagram’s in a row?


John Dobbin

John Dobbin is an architect, urbanist, and cocktail enthusiast. Following graduation from the UCD School of Architecture, he worked in London for nine years with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Squire + Partners, where he was an associate. He returned to Dublin in 2017 and is a director of Shay Cleary Architects. John is currently working on a publication on the life and architecture of Sam Stephenson.

Related articles

No place for a pear

Doireann de Courcy Mac Donnell
Future Reference
Doireann de Courcy Mac Donnell
Cormac Murray

This case study maps the route from Pearse Street train station to St Stephen’s Green. This is a well-walked city journey with ample architectural and historical features; passing Leinster House, the National Library, and Trinity College Dublin. It features bustling cafés which spill onto the street and a plethora of office buildings. Embarking from a main commuter station, it is a route travelled equally by locals and tourists.

The choice of this route was personal in origin. I left my office on Molesworth Street one evening, hoping to board the Dart at Pearse Station within ten minutes. En route, I grabbed a pear. Ripe and juicy, it was a quick snack to placate a familiar after-work hunger. What started as a carefree nibble would soon motivate my reevaluation of Dublin’s inner-city street infrastructure. Along my 700m route in the heart of this European capital city, I did not pass a single bin on my footpath in which to dispose of the pear remnants. Vexed by my sticky hands and a fruit core that had abandoned all its structural integrity, I could only expel the smushed remnants once I had crossed Westland Row and reached Pearse St Station.

As indicated on the map below, the only two public bins to be found on either side of my route, this main city artery, were outside the National Gallery on Clare Street and St Andrew Church on Westland Row (both of which are on the easterly side of the street). Typically, city infrastructure is almost invisible to me, only noticed when it obstructs a footpath or disrupts a vista. However, when critically assessed, the traffic lights, electricity boxes, bus stops, waste bins, street lamps, make up a substantial jumble of street-junk. The lack of aesthetic consideration and coordinated layout for these components belies the strategic vision of the Dublin City Development Plan to create: “a connected, legible and liveable city with a distinctive sense of place, based on active streets, quality public spaces and adequate community and civic infrastructure… ensuring quality architecture, urban design and green spaces to provide quality of life and good health and wellbeing for all” [1].

This map was made to record the contemporary urban condition by honestly depicting all the city infrastructure and footpath interruptions, with particular focus on public refuse and pedestrian crossings. It also notes the street lamps, bus stops, bollards, and bicycle parking along this route.

Map of inner-city street infrastructure, by Doireann de Courcy Mac Donnell

Approximately 900m lie between Pearse Station and the gate to St Stephen’s Green from Kildare St. Along this route there are twelve pedestrian crossings managed by traffic lights. To travel this journey, the minimum number of road-crossings is four and the (most reasonably direct) maximum number of crossings is seven.

Following the route from Pearse St Station to St. Stephen’s Green, the westerly path is 925m. It immediately crosses Westland Row from the station, and travels along the path hugging Trinity College Dublin. From Nassau Street, and onto Kildare Street it crosses Setanta Place, Molesworth St, and Schoolhouse Lane before reaching St Stephen’s Green. A point at which the urban infrastructure feels congested is the pedestrian island at the south of Kildare Street (marked location A). Here you will find a street barrier, sign posts, traffic lights, bicycle parking, electricity boxes and a reflective traffic bollard. Along this route there are no public bins.

The length of the route walked along the easterly path is 920m long. Turning left onto the path on Westland Row leaving Pearse Street station, it travels along the street before using the traffic island to cross onto Lincoln Place. Continuing along the bollard-lined curve to Clare Street, the third pedestrian crossing of this route brings you to Nassau Street. After rounding the corner to Kildare Street, it is a straight 260m to the Shelbourne Hotel, where you find yourself crossing to the westerly path to reach the Green. A point along this side of the street at which the urban infrastructure feels crowded is at the south corner of the National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street (marked location B). Beside a grid of established trees around a statue of William Conyngham Plunket, there are two postboxes straddling an electricity box, several bus stops, signposts, and bollards. Leaving the station on Westland Row, along this route you pass three bins. The first two are clustered at the station, and the third can be found at the National Gallery. This confirms that from St Andrew’s Church to the Shelbourne Hotel, there is only a single public rubbish bin.

By recording the erratic distribution of street infrastructure, this map also highlights that simply providing physical infrastructure is not sufficient when aiming to protect and enliven urban character. While the DCC Development Plan states “The preservation of the built heritage and archaeology of the city that makes a positive contribution to the character, appearance, and quality of local streetscapes and the sustainable development of the city” [2], this is not reflected in the layered mess of electricity boxes, sign posts, and bollards. It is important to acknowledge the architectural richness and quality of the street in this case study, and that this issue of street-junk is just as evident throughout the city, on streets such as Camden Street, Church Street, and Frederick Street.

1846 map of Dublin city, indicating route discussed. City of Dublin, Smith. 1846. (Illustrated London News), Reproduced for Dublin Part III, 1756 to 1847 (Irish Historic Towns Atlas, no. 26), 2014, Dublin, Royal Irish Academy

In its endeavour to foster “a distinctive sense of place” in this area of the city, DCC has been successful. However, while the overriding impression is a civic character envisioned by the Georgians and Victorians, it is hard to ignore the layers of haphazard and visually disruptive infrastructure that have been added in recent times.

There is an understandable conflict between the provision of urban services and the maintenance of our architectural heritage. Yet, looking at previous generations of lamp posts, manhole covers, and paving, this wasn’t always the case. In The Ancient Pavement: An Illustrated Guide to Dublin’s Street Furniture, O’Connell explains that the nineteenth-century street lighting would have begun as traditional oil lamps, before being modernised to gas, and then, in the 1890s, electricity. While this resulted in the preservation of traditional infrastructure, the decision to adapt the existing lamps would have been an economic one: “During times when many other cities introduced more modern lighting schemes Dublin, through economic necessity, was often forced to adapt such new fittings to older lamp-posts” [3]. The more frugal decision at the time has unconsciously allowed the preservation of beautiful nineteenth-century lighting street infrastructure, including manhole covers, bollards, and railings: “Street objects were accidentally preserved from many eras to produce what is now one of the most unique city collections of street furniture in Europe”. Kildare Street still acts today as a palimpsest of Dublin ironmongery. The ornamentation of earlier interventions reflect a dedication to both place making and necessary modernisation.

Working in the relatively well-preserved Georgian core of south Dublin city is a privilege – today’s converted office buildings, galleries, and cafés are identifiable in the terraces of Smith’s 1846 map of Dublin, first published by the Illustrated London News. In addition to the red brick and sash windows, the architectural character of the small city blocks are defined by granite curbs that have been smoothened by thousands of footsteps, railing-lined light wells, and generously proportioned streets. This emphasises that fostering a sense of place does not solely depend on the buildings, but how they touch our public space.

This case study concludes that in order to achieve a vibrant urban realm, more thoughtful, place-specific, infrastructural design is needed. And some more bins for a pear. 

Future Reference

A key aim of the 2022-2028 Dublin City Development Plan is the fostering of a positive urban realm; striving to “ensure that Dublin City is a real and vibrant city where people live and work, not merely a tourist destination”. Now two years into this Development Plan’s six-year strategy, this article maps a primary pedestrian route along popular city streets, presenting a micro case study of the contemporary urban condition.


Housing, can we do it ourselves?

Jonathan Curran
Future Reference
Jonathan Curran
Cormac Murray

Ireland faces a critical housing shortage. Our financial system means a short-term reduction in house prices is unlikely [1], and analysis points to a shortage in supply as a key contributing factor. To build ourselves out of crisis, housing will need to be delivered at large scales. State agencies, housing bodies, and developers are masterplanning significant swathes of land. In the face of a climate crisis, hitting our housing targets is just the first step. A major challenge will be how we can sustain our housing supply for generations to come.

When we consider our building strategies through the lens of repair, a key factor that emerges is scale. Repair has a certain set scale because buildings are not precise. The rolling list of repairs that a building demands does not lend itself to a top-down, large-scale approach, but instead requires careful, human attention. Learning to build is a lesson in measuring twice, cutting once, and allowing for errors. This is not precision engineering; small misreads can become gaps you can put your hand in. Our houses are full of filler; half of Ireland is held together with Tec7. If we more carefully consider this complex and often unkempt side of construction, we can enable the continual transformation of buildings over time.

Large-scale, new-build construction might seem re-assuring for hitting housing delivery targets at first. At the macro level, however, it remains challenging to strategise for ongoing repair work: problem-solving with limited clues, incorporating room for error, and facilitating creative on-site responses. The onus for delegating and procuring repair in private housing typically falls to management teams, resident committees, and individuals. Not surprisingly, meaningful change is impeded by financial realities. We are fast approaching a crisis point; a 2018 report by the Royal Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland found three-quarters of apartment complexes do not have enough funds set aside for long-term upkeep [2]. Post-occupancy evaluations are unfortunately neither mandatory nor regularised. There is a glaring absence of data on maintenance and repair in our climate and economy.

'The complex and unkempt side of construction'. Image of a construction site by Jonathan Curran

If we reconsider housing with repair in mind, then we begin to look beyond the hoarding of new-build construction sites. We have a country filled with crumbling brick terraces, mistreated stone townhouses, and swathes of cold, damp bungalows tucked into the corners of fields. While this dimension of construction might not be appealing to large-scale investors, for owner-occupiers, repair and restoration could present an invaluable opportunity to obtain and customise a place of one's own. The state is attempting to encourage these small-scale repairs by offering grants of up to €70,000 to homeowners undertaking renovations of derelict properties. But this money is only released once the project meets a number of strict conditions, and is only available to projects involving a contractor [3].

The potential for this mode of construction is significant. A high proportion of an entire generation are currently locked out of the property market. Their powerlessness to enact change is contrasted with our historical culture of self-building in Ireland. Although a frequent topic of derision, the Bungalow Bliss building phenomenon in Ireland was a remarkable feat of small-scale building, happening en masse. The effect of this goes beyond housing quanta, as writer Adrian Duncan notes: "There's more of a direct relationship with a home you build for yourself when compared to moving to a house built by a stranger". He describes the Bungalow Bliss period as "one of the last few unselfconscious instances in Ireland of the traditional meitheal" [4]. This could equally apply to a house one maintains, repairs, extends or retrofits.

However, current government supports fail to reach self-builders and DIYers. Instead the system relies on the appointment of contractors. David Byrne, a self-builder I spoke to, lamented the lack of support available to him: "The government, while meaning well, is giving money to the middle man, while the person at the bottom isn't getting any benefit" [5]. His current project fits many of the criteria that the government seeks to encourage, but as he is aiming to do the work himself, the need to have a contractor involved removes any chance of receiving support. With the uncertainty of older buildings, the need to pay for work upfront, and inability to carry out the work by oneself, many of the grants are a helping hand that is simply out of reach.

There is also a lack of nuance in these government supports that is stifling the building economy. When it comes to thermal improvement, many grants rely on using an improved BER rating as evidence of a job well done. But the reality of retrofitting is far more complex. In David Byrne's case, he is removing the non-breathable elements from the existing stone walls, to restore their innate thermal and hydraulic functions. Yet he struggles to find support for this approach: "Ninety percent of people I talk to in the building industry tell me to dry-line the stone walls" [6]. How can we expect to harness the energy and desire of self-builders, if we cannot offer them more flexibility in financing and delivering their projects?

Removing non-breathable elements to expose a dry-stone wall. Image by Jonathan Curran

Enabling DIYers will require a surge in specialised education and training, funding and political vision. Currently, a significant barrier to a widespread DIY approach to housing is the availability of clear and accessible information. Some efforts are being made; enterprises like Common Knowledge aim to teach lay people construction skills with in-person courses. Similarly, architects and engineers will have a role to play in encouraging this shift in building culture. Already advocates for self-building – Walter Segal internationally, and Dominic Stevens domestically – have proven the potential for architects to enable self-building. The effort could be worth it, a widespread self-build and DIY revolution has the potential to tackle a number of the problems faced by the current Irish housing landscape: supply, lack of tradespeople, and vacancy.

If we can navigate this successfully, we could create a new self-perpetuating system for housing delivery and maintenance. If we want the job done right, we'll have to do it ourselves.

Future Reference

Possible solutions to the housing crisis are rarely considered beyond handing over the keys to a new dwelling. Repair work is generally too slow, risky, and expensive to be attractive to investment at a large scale. In looking for answers, should we make space for DIYers?


Material change: a non-violent approach to our built environment

Rachel Loughrey
Future Reference
Rachel Loughrey
Cormac Murray

Virgin materials are any materials extracted directly from nature that lead to destructive impacts: trees being ripped from the ground, soil contamination, illness, and pollution. It takes an abundance of energy to process these materials and can, in some circumstances, lead to a displacement of communities. In a linear economy, the focus is on single-use and permanent disposal of materials. In the context of the climate and biodiversity crisis, these methods will have devastating future consequences. According to the World Economic Forum, the effects of the climate and biodiversity crisis are seen as the top tier risks for the next ten years and beyond [1].

An example of this is evident in the process of creating aluminium. The mining of bauxite, the ore needed to produce aluminium, has been linked to deforestation, community displacement, and environmental destruction in places such as the Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, China, and West Africa [2]. As bauxite is found near the earth’s surface, bauxite mines strip large areas of land, frequently impacting local ecosystems and communities. Bauxite refining creates an alkaline waste product called ‘red mud’ that contains heavy metals and other elements.  If the waste is not stored correctly and enters local water sources, it can be harmful to humans.

There is a non-violent and earth friendly alternative: using reclaimed materials. A key advantage offered by reclaimed materials is they require minimal to no reprocessing. Shifting to prioritising reclaimed materials would foster a circular economy, a nature-based system which would be regenerative. In a circular economy, materials never become waste – and waste production is considered an avoidable design flaw. Members of the construction industry need to constantly ask where a material is extracted from, and what is its end-of-life strategy. Asking shows a conscious approach, where we care about respecting the earth and leaving a liveable planet for future generations. Asking shows we understand climate justice, and how people who are suffering the most from the climate crisis have done very little to cause it. Asking shows an awareness that we, as members of the construction industry, are part of the problem currently, and shows a desire to become part of the solution for the climate and biodiversity crises.

Cleared forestry by Alan Hughes (via Wikimedia Commons)

Three main challenges exist for this non-violent approach to materials. These are, namely, psychological, practical, and regulatory challenges.

Psychologically, we need to accept that the way we are building now is harmful, and while changing to using reclaimed materials is not going to be comfortable for those in the industry, change is rarely comfortable. However, with a growing consciousness of the devastation caused by the climate crisis, key players within the construction industry are beginning to reflect on where materials come from, and the social and environmental impact of the extraction of these materials.

The practical challenge is tracking, storing, and quantifying the sustainability of our materials. We can start with establishing material passports, that will give materials an identity and help to map out elements that are being removed from buildings for refurbishment projects. We need to remove demolition out of our standard construction vocabulary and replace it with conscious deconstruction. We also need the state to provide storage for reclaimed construction materials, as is happening right now in Germany [5]. This will lead to an ease of use of reclaimed materials.

On a governmental level, we need the regulatory framework to be immediately updated – the regulations currently serve the linear economy, with reclaimed materials not being stated or encouraged in the documentation. There is scope in Section 1.1 ( c ) of the Technical Guidance Document D: Materials and Workmanship that enables materials to be reused under specific conditions, but we need the state to provide funding for anexisting secondary material marketplace (such as the Irish Green Building Council’s Construction Materials Exchange). In cases where demolition is absolutely unavoidable, planning compliance should mandate that a pre-demolition audit is carried out and that high-value materials are given a material passport and to be either directly transported to another live site or stored (temporarily) to be reused in the future.

Photograph of construction materials on site, image by Rachel Loughrey.

Ultimately, we need support from everyone in the industry to do this. Most individuals in construction could start immediately, by following these steps:

1. Observing how we build now.

2. Assessing the damage caused by extracting materials.

3. Examining alternatives such as using reclaimed construction materials.

4. Requesting that manufacturers, design teams, and the government use unharmful ways of building, so we can protect the environment we are part of.

As the forward-thinking activist bell hooks stated in her book The Will to Change: "The way things are is not the way they have to be" [6] We can change how we relate to the earth, and our disconnect to the materials with which we build. We need to advocate for non-violence, lean into the will to change together, and make a concerted effort to build with reclaimed materials.

Future Reference

There is a violent nature to the way we build today. Instead of using circularly-sourced, reclaimed elements, our built environment has normalised using virgin materials with associated destructive and damaging practices. Through changing our production and sourcing of materials, how can we transition from a linear economy to a circular one?



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