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The Sandbank Refractory

Part 1 Project 2022
Sara Wiktoria Sokolowska-Katzer
Queen's University Belfast | UK
The Sandbank Refractory is a composition of different conditions of flexible social and learning settings. The building initially functions as a recycling-based glassblowing education centre that can accommodate future adaptation.

The form consists of three components. The first element is a lightweight rearrangeable steel frame with a formation of suspended floors. The second is a central brick chimney core for vertical movement of air, circulation and heat regulation. The third element is a (recycled plastic aggregate) concrete permanent structure hosting the main learning workshops.

The structure uses age-old elements (chimney, bridges) to new uses and challenges traditional craft and regionalities in vision of future cities. As a reflection on Progressivism the building creates unexpected moments of transition between areas.

This creates the feeling of curiosity and exploration. The educational spaces are therefore adapted to encourage learning through practice and experience.The proposal synthesises the collective spirit of the traditional red brick heritage of Belfast (Ir. Béal Feirste “mouth of the sandbank ford”) with a modern flair. It is a response to the awareness of importance of “reusable” buildings in context of circular economy strategies and shortage of materials.

The Sandbank Refractory is reactive to change through adaptation without demolition.

Sara Wiktoria Sokolowska-Katzer

Nuala Flood
Laurence Lord
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