About Spirit of Place-Downpatrick Head-County Mayo-Ireland 2014

The 2014 Spirit of Place project at Downpatrick Head, The Crossing, is a quiet restoration project with a thunderous architectural and landscape installation to commemorate the natural power and richly-layered historical tales of this site.   It was a 9-day construction project undertaken from June 21-July 4, 2014 by architecture students in the Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design program at The Catholic University of America, in cooperation with adjoining land holders, Mayo County Council, Fáilte Ireland, Céide Fields, and the National Geographic Society.  The culminating event on July 4th 2014 launched the Wild Atlantic Way, a natural and cultural trail along Ireland’s Atlantic west coastline.

Lapping turbulence weaves
Reflections forgotten,
Surging eruptions unveil the Sea of Seeing

Design Metaphor:  The Crossing
The metaphor of The Crossing evokes the struggle and the sublime slipstream between the mystical and the material, the “crossing” between cultural history and the eternal sacred; contradiction and paradox at its best.  It is the border where folklore and spoken tradition reflect on the lion’s den of lives past and lives to come.  It is the unspeakable moment when two totally divergent realities collide - the despair of losses at last transcends into the celebration of joy over what has become of the Irish Heritage over the past fifteen hundred years: a culture that in its hidden hours saved the history of humanity when the dark ages swept the globe…the diaspora of the famine that ironically spread this uniquely Irish character further. 

Project Partners: 
The Catholic University of America
Spirit of Place – Spirit of Design, Inc.
       Mayo County Council
       Fáilte Ireland
      Céide Fields
       National Geographic Society
Travis Price Architects

Colin Casey*
Corin Capodilupo*
Emily Curato*
Ashyka Dave
Gavin Driscoll
Amirali Ebadi
Kieran Fannan*
Ryan Hall*
Samuel Hemmenway*
Daniel Hinchcliff*
Henry Hirsch*
Eric Hofmann*
Margaret Hovorka*
Silvia Ivanova
Lauren Kennedy*
Madeline Kil*
Delia Kilduff*
Corey Manno*
Rossana Medina*
Kyle Moran*
Azalea Motamed
Christopher Motley
Alex Parzych*
Luis Mauricio Perez*
Karina Rodriguez*
Matthew Schmalzel
Ayman Sheshtawy*
Ian Walker*
*students participating in on-site build expedition

Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design, The Catholic University of America, and Travis Price Architects
Travis Price, III, FAIA, Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design Founder, and Professor, The Catholic University of America, Cultural Studies and Sacred Space Graduate Concentration; and Principal, Travis Price Architects
Kathleen Lane, Assoc. AIA, Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design Program Director and Co-Instructor
Kelly Davies, Assoc. AIA, Project Architect

Mayo County Council
Peter Hynes, Mayo County Manager
Joanne Grehan, CEO Local Enterprise Office
Danny O Toole, Spirit of Place Project Manager
Eugene O Toole
Joseph O Toole
Gus O Toole
Vivian O Toole

Contractors and Suppliers
Shevlin Engineering
McNamara Stone
Lawless Glass

National Geographic Society
             Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Traveler Magazine
             Terry Garcia, Executive Vice President, Missions      

Many thanks to the following for their contribution of research and exhibition information:

Dr. Seamus Caulfield, Stephen Dunford, and Scoil Naomh Brid

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