Church House Consultation, Nuns Island - Church House is a striking two storey building that sits on the edge of the St. Clare River, Nuns’ Island and is set to become a new creative and community space for the city. Between 2021 and 2022 UrbanLab carried out a public consultation on the future of the building on behalf of Galway City Council and with the support of the University of Galway. Church House is attached to the back of the Nuns’ Island Theatre which is a former Presbyterian Church dating to the 1840s. Also known as The Manse, it originally served as a home for the church’s various ministers. The purpose of the consultation was to gather views on the role and function of Church House as a creative space and its place within the wider cultural and creative landscape of Galway.

The project brought together a diverse range of institutions and participants in order to create a shared vision for the building and its position within the wider creative landscape of Galway. It was designed as an iterative process in which participants could shape the direction and outcomes of the consultation as it progressed. A series of interviews were carried out with key stakeholders from the creative sector and local community. UrbanLab also ran workshops with members of Galway’s creative sector as well as students from the neighbouring Bish Secondary School and the University of Galway. A public survey on the future of the building was also launched alongside a bespoke survey for the residents of Nuns’ Island. What emerged was a collective vision of a new, multifunctional creative space in the heart of Galway’s former industrial district that is set to become an important node in the city’s cultural ecosystem.

377 People Engaged

a poster for a new cultural space for galway
a logo with the words 237 surveyed
the logo for 5 workshops
13 interviews with people on a yellow background
obea - new island gallery

Architectural Render of New Cultural Space

an aerial view of a city with red arrows

Imagining Nuns’ Island was an audio journey through a unique district in the heart of Galway. The journey started and finished in front of Galway Cathedral and took approximately one hour to complete on foot. Participants were invited to offer their own reflections, thoughts, images and stories to a dedicated website.

Link to audio journey