Yeats Architecture Competition

Sligo, Ireland

The Yeats International Architectural Competition was to celebrate the 150 year anniversary since the birth of the poet William Butler Yeats and was a joint project between Risner Design and Pol Gallagher from Zap Architecture. The competition asked entries to respond to Yeats’ poem ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’, which would also be the location for the installation on Lough Gill, Co. Sligo, on the West of Ireland. In developing our proposal we sought architectural forms which related directly to the poem, Yeats’ other writing, and the local context. Through this we narrowed our focus on the beehive hut, an ancient local architectural form that symbolised many of the themes of the poem – a safe space in the wildest of conditions, the retreat, the solitary monastic life chosen to exile itself from society, the simplicity and beauty of the form of the hut itself, and the shelter and safe space which it provides in this wild context. Further references through the poem to the hive and bee allowed us to explore the beautiful natural geometry and form of the honeycomb structure and offer a different perspective and new possibilities as to what a beehive hut could become.