StreetSpace Sailortown

Space as the third teacher: A montessori school in Sailortown

Lorna McCartan

This thesis derived through analysis and research of Belfast’s dockland town, prior to it’s unnecessary demolition in the 1960s. Today, Sailortown occupies a small number of private and social housing developments in an attempt to repopulate the area amongst vast carparks and office blocks. However, these developments failed to deliver spaces to learn, socialise and play.

Project Images

Therefore, this proposal seeks to define the montessori methods of educational design within an urban realm of desolation and lost memories. Situated in the context of a segregated society, the alternative school typology aims to integrate and celebrate socially inclusive modes of inside and outside learning.

The design of the montessori school facilitates a child-centred learning experience through the use of social and semi-public spaces. Among the design, the expansion and incorporation of the canals evoke a montessorial learning environment, in respect of Sailortown’s industrial and built heritage.

The project imagines a permeable two-storey timber clad and standing-seam zinc structure, with an intermediate walk-around to offer a contemporary corridor in outdoor space. The routes of movement act as educational and social spaces, taking the form of the teacher in addition to the alternative yet conventional classroom.

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