Architect Niall McLaughlin talks us through his design of a sacred space – a room within a room – to serve a community of Discalced Carmelites who come together for prayer. The film opens with Niall McLaughlin speaking to camera about his considered approach to the design of an oak lined Prayer Room inside the existing St. Teresa’s Priory, Clarendon Street, Dublin, whose chapel dates back to 1797. Fr Nicholas speaks about prayer being at the heart of life for the Carmelite Friars. As you watch the friars use the space, and you can see how this room is conducive to collective prayer and their purpose. 

Site Specific is a special commission of ten short documentaries by the Irish Architecture Foundation for Open House Dublin 2020. Dyehouse Films reveal the personalities, processes, complexity, creativity and transformative impact that surround the act of designed space. The protagonists: the site, the architect, the historian, the user, speak directly to the camera, they speak directly to us. Site Specific crosses the city, scales and building types from play parks, social housing, places of worship to a building not yet built. Taken individually, each 5-minute video has something of the condensed power of a short story. As with the best short stories, it is through the intense focus on the particular qualities of a particular space at a particular time, that much larger social and cultural themes are illuminated. Site Specific makes evident architecture’s great central responsibility – the shaping of the spaces that in turn shape society.

Director Bonnie Dempsey, Editor Cara Holmes, Director of Photography Tom Comerford, Camera (London) Trevor Murphy, Rerecording Mixer Nikki Moss, Producer Aimie Gavin, Executive Producer David O’Sullivan.

Special thanks to Niall McLaughlin, Una Shinners, Prior Fr James Noonan, Fr Nicholas Madden, the Discalced Carmelite Friars at St Teresa’s Priory, Dublin

Produced by Dyehouse Films 2020

Opinions expressed are the contributors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Irish Architecture Foundation or Dyehouse Films. 

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