Student architects transform an Atlantic village

Sleeping on scaffolding, mopping out shower blocks , and building a bird hide from bales of straw are not quite the activities that one associates with an architectural career. However, several hundred students are challenging their own perceptions about their professional role, as well as testing their constitutions, as they transform the village of Letterfrack into one large architectural exhibition. “We know that some people doubted us when we told them that Diamond Hill was right behind us,” Sean Feeney, director of the European Architecture Students’ Assembly, laughs. “As for the Inagh valley, you could barely see it in the blanket of cloud and sheets of rain when we were coming through by coach.” The 360 participants from across Europe and Latin America are holding their annual assembly for the first time in Ireland, on the theme of “adaptation”. Relocating to the west from Dublin over the past week has been an integral part of the experience, in adapting to a change of pace, scale and context in a small village on the edge of the Atlantic.

The Irish Times