Symbiotic Relationship of Humans & Rivers

The project explores the relationship between humankind and rivers: how humans perceive rivers and the two-way interactions that occur. It views rivers from a selection of perspectives such as the river as a life source, a transport route and a power source.

The site is the River Corrib and the surrounding land of Galway city. The design project will focus on Madeira Island, now a surface car park. The River Corrib once powered Galway city’s industry and trade but now has a much less prominent role in the city. The fact that the city is built on a massing of islands, shaped by a network of waterways, is no longer evident due to the orientation of public buildings and main routeways.

Education has long been an integral part of Galway city life. The city centre currently hosts a university, three secondary and primary schools. However, all three secondary schools are in the process of migrating outwards in search of larger grounds in the suburbs.

The aim of the project is to provoke public re-evaluation of the river and to re-orientate people towards it. The programme is a music school to strengthen the weakening educational framework of Galway’s city centre

Of Brick and Stone

This project is based in Limerick City within the Georgian-era gridded city centre. The city has had an ongoing vacancy and dereliction issue, which has affected the historic centre and these 18th Century constructions. The scheme looks at activating the central space of the block, and connecting to existing terrace buildings along their garden plots. It is a rare occurrence in Limerick to see the inside of these city blocks, so I proposed a common surface area, accessible by the public. The scheme invites the public to pass through the middle of block, encountering a series of circular public spaces as they move from one main street to another. I chose a work-live Artists Studio typology for the scheme, to draw on Limerick’s large artist population. The idea was to have multi-use workshop spaces on the basement and ground floor, with a mix of living units above this. It was important to me that this central space be publicly accessible, as I was trying to encourage a visual dialogue between the processes of craft and the city’s inhabitants. The idea of brick-vaulted spaces on the sub level is a reference to the extensive network of brick sub- structures beneath Limerick’s Georgian terraces and streets.

Degrees of Repurposing Architecture

The thesis explores whether material can be reused within its local context to enhance the essence of place. In particular by exploring the ways in which materials could be recycled, the author searches for grounded sense of place for the surrounding community.

Given a fading sense of community in the town centre of Drogheda, the chosen programme was inspired by the urgency of the needs and values of the community. A need for safer spaces for the present community and for future generations is identified.

Repurposing the Abbey ruins of St. Mary d’Orso, which historically embodied a culture for caring in the community, the proposal brings it back to the forefront once more to tackle the issues of the present day, working through its materiality to establish an essence of place.

Social Architecture and its Impact on Mental Wellbeing

Architecture has the power to influence our lives in a profound and impactful way. Conscious and considered design has the ability to alter the way we think and behave, therefore affecting the way we feel. Design has proven its ability to assist in recovery or prolong the suffering of people dealing with mental health issues. Our growing understanding and awareness of mental illness and its complexity has helped destigmatize many mental disorders. The aim of my thesis is to research and implement architectural techniques and designs that promote positive mental health in urban areas.

The overarching aim of my thesis is to create a community within an existing area that promotes interaction between individuals. A driving force behind my thesis is the prevalence of loneliness and the feeling of isolation in many communities today. This is a growing issue that is incredibly hard to properly identify and has only been pushed to the forefront of the public consciousness in recent years. Intense loneliness has been proven to lead to depression and anxiety as well as many other mental illnesses, which I will explore further throughout my thesis. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a relatively new practice which involves mindful and meditative techniques. Studies over the last thirty years have shown the positive impact MBCT has on patients suffering from various mental illnesses. By using similar techniques within architecture, I intend to explore how we can design spaces that benefit mental health on a community level.

The site I have chosen to work with is an existing carpark on Ellen Street in Limerick City centre. The space has an interesting and dynamic history in terms of use. St. Michael’s church and a derelict 1800s corn store sit to the west of my site while retail bookmarks the space to the east and west. The parallels between my research and the existing church create an interesting dynamic which I will explore further throughout my thesis.

My intention is to create a space within the city that can cater for a variety of demographics, promoting social interaction, mindfulness, communication and cultural/spiritual growth. For this reason, I have chosen a sculpture gallery as the focal point of my project. This will also include community rooms, a meditative garden, a food hall and a small number of rental workspaces.


My thesis is investigating how awareness of self and of the environment can be heightened through the experience of architecture. I examine how space can be moulded in a way that encourages active experience of space, and positively affects the human body and psyche. I examine how a relationship between architecture and nature can be beneficial to both humans and to the environment. 

My building proposal is located at the river edge in Limerick city centre, on Arthur’s Quay Park. The site is currently underused, and the University of Limerick intends to develop it into a university campus. I saw an opportunity to develop an architecture with which students and locals in the city centre can be properly engaged, in body and mind. The building I am proposing on the site is a school of art, architecture and making. Through the tools of light, material and structure, the proposal will encourage users to experience space in an active and mindful way that is inspired by nature. 

Finding Value in the Invaluable

This thesis is an exploration into the sequence of spatial experiences which is afforded to the individual by their built environment. It is an investigation of the urban condition, ideas of procession and promenade, and adaptation in an endeavour to curate a responsive architectural attitude to designing within our urban fabric.

My area of study is Limerick city centre. I investigate the character of the city realm and the experience of the everyday. This is a place plagued by urban decay and vacancy; however, it is also rich in its history and design. The Georgian grid is a renowned example of urban planning and is considered a special area of conservation. This thesis examines building heritage, conservation, and dereliction in Limerick city.

The chosen site forms part of a Georgian block in Limerick city. It contains the derelict buildings of nos. 34-41 Catherine Street, and their associated brown-field site in the block interior. The site borders Glenworth lane to the northeast, Catherine street to the south east, the Mallow Street terraces to the south west, and a laneway from Malow Street to the northwest. The block in which it sits faces onto O’Connell Street, a primary thoroughfare in Limerick, and its location is an area of transition between primarily commercial and residential parts of the city.

The proposal of this thesis aims to create a piece of urban fabric which enables a richness of interface between the human and their build environment. The intervention strives to enhance the spatial experiences of the city-goer as they move through the city and provide public spaces within for city and community happenings to take place.

Resilience in Architecture. Active Landscapes & New Island Communities

This thesis considers our relationship with land. It is an architectural proposal that stems from a collection of historical, theoretical, and analytical studies of our past inhabitation in the West of Ireland. It celebrates a past connection to place, material, and one another. It outlines the resilient nature of the early Western settlers in terms of placemaking, despite the aggressions of the wild winter swells, sterile soils, and sharp south-westerly winds. Ultimately, it is a study of an environmentally-sensitive architecture, unaccompanied by architects, in the hope of alleviating the customary destruction of cultural landscapes and stimulating an argument for how we live, where we live, and
what we build with.

The chosen site is in the rural village of an Cheathrú Rua ‘Carraroe’, county Galway. It lies in the heart of a peninsula in a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) region of Connemara. As a result of the climate crisis and rising sea levels, the peninsula will become an island and the village of Carraroe will become a coastal town by 2090.

The project hopes to propose a new prototype for building in these vulnerable landscapes. This prototype aims to reactivate the existing windswept nodes of human inhabitation speckled along the west coast of Ireland, with a refreshed sensitvity to cultural landscapes. The design endeavours to allow spaces for biodiversity, island culture, and community to flourish while negotiating the subsequent changing terrain over time, as the village welcomes a new tide.

Re-Imagining Community: establishing a public space in small town Ireland

My thesis interest lies in the design and thought behind public spaces in Irish towns and how it impacts the identity and well-being of individuals in a community. Through a study of urban spaces that engage with the success and failures of specific conditions used, I attempt to understand how we as architects can provide a true, successful public realm for communities.

My chosen locus is the small town of Baltinglass in County Wicklow. With a population of 2,760, it’s located west of the Wicklow mountains. Baltinglass is a commuter town to Dublin and has a valuable history with multiple protected buildings. From once a rich community orientated town to now a vehicle and money ran town, Baltinglass lacks the inclusion of a public realm and gathering point outside the fixed confines of the pub and sport culture.

My chosen site is located on the corner of Chapel Hill and Weavers Square, situated adjacent to a community hall and handball alley. My design of a community hub intends to listen to the people’s urgent needs and act as a ‘safe space’ away from work and home. I will propose a new design of Weaver’s Square to re-introduce a sense of community and a purpose-built area for the residents of Baltinglass.

The programme is a pedestrianised town centre with a community centre and private garden. The project aims to acknowledge the lack of pedestrian and community space within the town and develop the town centre into a focal point for activity and living.

Through a design of a playful timber structure and the use of cork oak materiality, the centre will inspire creativity and positive engagement featuring flexible studio/ performing spaces, quiet rooms, a range of exterior and interior seating and gathering points, 24-hour accessible areas and surrounding cork -oak forested walkways. Access to the building will be free, publicly accessible, and open to encourage a diversity in terms of inhabitants as well as the development of cross-cutting networks and relationships. A public space accessible to everyone.

A focal point in the heart of Baltinglass.

Amelioration, Information and Architecture

This thesis investigates how consequential buildings such as data centres are an aftereffect of our overuse of energy and dependence on information storage. 

I would like to question our intense interactions with the land, our production of data, our remaining balance of energy and our obsession with growth. We live among anti-human structures that are an invisible extension of our modern lifestyle; an integral infrastructure of the present-day future. Steel-clad objects are a by-product of our interdependence on information, data and the cloud. 

Our dependence on data centres has created an over-reliance on energy and water for the upkeep of these organisms’ vitals. As autonomous structures; their use of resources as commodities are verging on becoming a privilege. The buildings are that of storage, a space without windows, a place without feeling, a room without inhabitants. Four walls partition all information about us; yet this space is not for you or me. Can our understanding of data centres be rearranged and dismantled as easily as they could be taken apart? 

The data centre can be a place for the people; as an educational space that ensures understanding of our future. We can urge for degrowth and retain our architectural esteem through delicate interaction with the land and form buildings for people, with care and consideration for the present. An energy monastery.

The locus of this thesis is the basin of the River Shannon, but not confined to its floodplains. The river holds more influence than just what it touches currently. Using this body of water almost as a metaphor for the development of the systems which are now essential to us. The river Shannon is ever-present but human interaction is forever re-arranging around her, from ecclesiastic settlements to Bord na Móna power stations.

Sometimes it is a slight reconfiguration which leads to the biggest impacts on the system to which we plug-in to.

Extracting Purpose: Nurturing our inland waterways

My thesis is an investigation into the future of Irelands inland waterways. It looks specifically at the reuse of both materials and the sites of past industry that lie along the paths of our canals. In the past, Irelands canals served an industrial purpose connecting the towns linked by this network to Dublin. This thesis looks at the possibility of expanding the services and facilities available for people living on house boats to bring back the vibrancy and life that was once seen on the canals, back when workers were travelling the countryside by barge. By creating a new sustainable network supported by production on the banks of the waterways.

This thesis focuses on building with timber in an Irish environment as well as the reuse of industrial materials and warehouses along the canal banks to transform these places into vibrant functioning spaces once again. This would be made possible by using the waterways as streets of life and transport in the future.

The project was focused on the Grand canal, the canal was thought of as a redeveloped industrial corridor. However, this thesis can also be applied to any struggling post-industrial waterway whose banks show signs of dereliction.