Meditation Mine

YAC launches a competition of ideas aiming to recondition an Irish industrial archeological masterpiece into a meditation destination immersed in nature.


    People often talk about it. Mass culture is steeped in its legends and landscapes.Yet, this time the Ireland we are about to describe is not the Ireland of Celts, moors, fairies or sprites. This story is about a dusty Ireland made of dirt and sweat, efforts and poverty.

    This is the Ireland of miners, men and women of brave heart that used to mine from the heart of the island the minerals feeding the furious 19th-century industry. This is a story of silent heroism, ordinary people, an extraordinary ordinariness attested by majestic ruins that are no less fascinating than the stark castles and mysterious abbeys depicting the best-known face of Romantic Ireland.

    The architectures towering over Allihies mines are machine-buildings that used to move miners underground. Today, they appear as gutted stone engines that seem to defy gravity with their huge cracks. Nevertheless, for centuries they have been guarding natural paradises that had been abandoned or visited by a few passionate hikers.
    Today, though, the common perception is changing, and new scenarios are being set for these architectures too.

    There is an increasingly common need for solitude, silence, return to vast natural spaces.

    Indeed, there is a growing need to escape from the urban environment, from an everyday life that is often too suffocating and alienating. There is an increasingly common need for solitude, silence, return to vast natural spaces. It is the need to reconnect with one’s intimacy to be met by visiting places with supernatural fascination. Notoriously, Ireland is studded with the most intriguing scenarios.

    Ancient mines were built to mine minerals from the mountain. However, in their ruins, maybe contemporary humanity can mine something that is even more valuable than metals and find that sense of peace and harmony contemporary society has somehow jeopardized.

    This is the goal of the competition Ireland Meditation Mine, aiming at turning Irish industrial archeology masterpieces into a retreat and meditation destination for people who look for meaningful experiences away from contemporaneity and immersed in the mystic beauty of a timeless nature.

    Surrounded by stones tormented by the wind and uninterrupted silence, humanity can undertake the escape from civilization that urged the first wise men to retire to their caves in pursuit of a solitary life that has always been considered the most effective recipe for human happiness.

    YAC thanks all designers who will accept this challenge.


    Each jury is nominated with utmost care and is composed by professionals of the highest repute whose activity is consistent with the theme of the competition.

    • Gong Dong
      Vector Architects
    • Danny Collins
      County Councillor West Cork
    • Edoardo Currà
      La Sapienza University
    • Valerie Mulvin
    • Federico Pompignoli
      Former OMA
    • Neil Hubbard
      Heatherwick Studio
    • Rossana Hu
    • Tadhg O’Sullivan


    All awarded projects will be sent to websites, magazines and architectural platforms. Furthermore, they can be displayed in national and international architectural events.

    1st prize


    2nd prize


    3rd prize


    2 x Gold Mentions


    Honorable Mentions





    Complying with deadlines is a fundamental requirement to take part in the competition. All architects are encouraged to pay the utmost attention to the calendar and to deliver each phase in advance.

    • May 2, 2022 – Jun 5, 2022

      Early Bird Registration

      65€ / team*

    • Jun 6, 2022 – Jul 3, 2022

      Standard Registration

      85€ / team*

    • Jul 4, 2022 – Jul 31, 2022

      Late Registration

      115€ / team*

    • Aug 3, 2022

      Material Submission Deadline

    • Aug 9, 2022

      Jury Summoning

    • Oct 10, 2022

      Results Announcement

    * +22% VAT. Fulfilling an “Early bird”, “Standard” or “Late” registration does not affect submission deadline.




    Meditation Mine