This project proposes the refurbishment of an historic Grade B2 listed Ice House which formed part of the historic Foyle Fisheries complex in Derry. The primary function of the building was to store salmon from the catches, awaiting shipping.
The Ice House is twin–barrel vaulted and extends in height through three levels taking up the differential in ground levels from Victoria Road to the riverside. The building was originally obscured by blocks of living and office accommodation – effectively concealing the building from any public awareness. However these buildings have since been demolished, leaving the dense masonry core of the Ice House. The functional characteristics of the structure mean light was excluded, and the thick walls maintained thermal inertia to keep the fish cold all year round.
The project proposes two new and distinct elements (one to the side, the other on top of the building), which interact with the existing fabric to allow vertical connection to the road level without destruction of the vaults. The Ice House is a relic of a past industry; a space that due to its characteristics and location will never be used unless the new extensions provide access.
The building is sited adjacent to our first social housing project, for Clanmil Housing Association; it is hoped that the Ice House can be brought into use as office and community space so that this link to the past history of the Foyle Fishery can become part of the day to day life of the site. Construction is due to begin on both projects this year.