Michael Kirschner

Michael Kirschner

Boston, MA, US


Graduate Thesis

Interventions on Contested Interface
Creating Neutral Spaces to Facilitate Dialogue on Peacelines

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Protestant and Catholic communities of Belfast have a deep-rooted mutual animosity dating back decades.  Only recently have peace efforts begun to indicate a shift towards a secure, nonviolent coexistence.  Architecture cannot guarantee continued progress towards sustained peace, however a program can be developed to support recent advances and anticipate the manifestation of an active coexistence.  Barriers along spaces of contention are composed of materials which will be reused within a positive, new architectural language.  The initial phase will be envisioned as a present day scheme.  A second phase expands upon the first, once further progress has been made in the peace process.  The final phase will be imagined as when a stable peaceful existance is attained.   The process of healing after conflict will be integral to all three phases, individually responding to each period of development.  A system of mediations will be constructed as a means to assist the people of Belfast in overcoming historical trauma and preventing relapse into further violence.

Read more

Status: School Project
Location: Belfast, GB
Additional Credits: Thesis Advisor - Graham Owen