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Open Competitions


Meditation Mine

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

Meditation Mine

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.


First Prize


Pierre IDE, Matthieu FARIA

Second Prize

Mograph studio

Giovanna de Simone, Matteo Amicarella

Third Prize


Yeji Cha, Jinkyung Kim, Jeewon Koo, Bora Kim

Gold Mention

Marcelo Suarez

Marcelo Suarez

Marcelo Suarez

Gold Mention


Antigoni Antonopoulou


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.


YAC thanks all the people who have been engaged in organizing the competition by sharing time, materials and resources to make the experience of architects unique.

Allihies Copper Mine MuseumCounty Councillor West CorkHeatherwick StudioMccullough Mulvin ArchitectsNeri + HuVector Architects

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