Theatre and Theatre school on the River Liffey

The site is on the River at the Ha penny Bridge, opposite the old Woollen mills. The project divided itself into three parts: A theatre, a school and a public space. A long wall building connected the theatre to the school and acted as circulation between the two. Designed as a four storey height top lit galley, the sets were made, moved and stored in this space. This long building ran the length of the site from the river front to Liffey Street. It provided a backdrop for the school building and for the black box theatre. The building formed a public space with the Woollen Mills which fronted onto the river and connected to Temple Bar via the Ha’penny bridge and Merchants Arch. The public space was envisaged as a performance space connected to the Theatre and school. A secret garden occupies one of the four quadrants of the school building.

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.

Civic Affordance – A Library in the Liberties

This thesis project is focused on the local culture of Meath Street in Dublin 8’s “The Liberties”. It is based on a
theoretical inquiry into human behavior through the lens of “affordances”, which are described as environmental
conditions that enable certain behaviors or actions. The project posits that these conditions can bring about these
behaviors through gentle nudges to our subconscious, implying the existence of a highly contingent “architectural

The project primarily aims to promote the indigenous street trading culture in the area through the design of a
Library Building and associated site works. The building’s mass and placement form street edges and a square,
which are lined by undulating walls, benches, trees, and stepped seating. The corrugated steel cladding of the
building subverts the typical aesthetic of civic buildings and instead attempts to elevate the reading of indigenous
constructions, such as the adjacent ‘Liberties Market’ and the squated stables.

All of the building’s surfaces are intended to be used for various purposes, such as ball games, projecting movies,
gardening, or setting up impromptu market stalls. The internal spaces explore in a similar way, means of generating
civil interactions related to an expanded view of library functions. By creating an environment that is supportive of
positive local activities, the project hopes to nurture local stewardship and strengthen the community.

Contested Ground: Resilient Discourse in the Contemporary City

‘It is in the city that the strangers who, in the global space confront each other as hostile states, inimical civilisations or military adversaries, meet as individual human beings, watch each other at close quarters, talk to each other, learn each other’s ways, negotiate the rules of life in common and, sooner or later, get used to each other’s presence, … find pleasure in sharing company.’

Zygmund Bauman ‘City of Fears, City of Hopes’ 2003


The thesis project explores ideas and architectures of encounter. This encounter in a civic context being with ‘the other’, the fellow citizen who one must engage with and contest within an adversarial context if the city is to be one of resilience. The interplay of spaces of the city where this encounter occurs feeds into the design project that attempts to emulate these spaces of civic contest and civic virtue. The project provides a meeting place for the Citizens’ Assembly of Ireland, the Assembly’s processes prescribed into the elements of program. It becomes a sequence of spaces for daily and occasional gatherings, encounters, and contest.


The design project manifest itself in the form of a cloister within the city. The  ground condition is about enclosure and access upwards into the large gallery corridors that connect the elements of the program together and look into the external civic spaces below, in turn framing and defining these civic spaces. Here, cellular office rooms contrast the larger communal rooms providing more private space for conversations amongst smaller groups within the larger collective. These cellular rooms become stacked at the tower as visible hierarchies and becomes a place-making symbol to the square below. The scheme is one of a layering of civic activity above and below a new civic ground.


The architecture that is informed by the thesis research is one that encounters the city context in which it is found. Context is the catalyst to design orientations and the architecture is a derivative of its setting. It encounters the ‘the other’, the existing representations in the city, and reacts to them as becoming part of the city and not of an external concept. The architecture is a space of places within a space of flows, it is a layering of encounters through an assemblage of structure.

Contemporary Commons

In suburbia, the morphology of the housing estate monopolises programme.

The sub-division of land, the layout of streets and the essential relationship of public and private worlds is determined by the dimensional repetition of the semi-d. In between are interspersed the basic infrastructures for survival – the petrol station, the newsagent, the amorphous green space. Such rare interruptions in function are equally a break in the dominant spatial order of the three-bedroom plot. These gaps in the dominant residential programme present an opportunity.


Distanced from the centres and avoiding the pressures of commerce, the former use value of the old city has emigrated with the citizenry to the suburbs. Despite this there remains a missing component to suburban life – the civic space. In the oversized or oddly shaped green spaces are the greatest opportunities for the civic in urban life. Free of fences, closing hours, by-laws or even function these afterthoughts may be the contemporary commons.


For a successful civic space to take root in suburbia, one cannot resort to the simple insertion of urban or rural typologies. Within the confines of the suburban daily routine there is space for an architecture. The answer lies within the rhythms of commuting, school terms and the occasional birthday party. Equally, it is essential to acknowledge the unique size and shape of the green patch in juxtaposition to the constraints of the housing plot. This break from residential form and function allows for a public scale of intervention. In other words , the possibility to give inhabitants the spaces for living that their private homes could never fulfil. Within these limits there is an opportunity, not to force a change in people’s lives but to make sublime how we already live.

Curated Decay: Interventions to Stabilize Derelict Structures

The thesis project is centered around the illustrious Iveagh Markets located in the Liberties. The owners of this remarkable site have long held a deep reverence for its structure, perhaps even to the point of being overly cautious about making any alterations. However, the project aims to strike a balance between preservation and revitalization by exploring the concept of “stabilizing” derelict structures. We delve into the realm of architectural interventions that not only introduce new materials and spatial elements but also pay homage to the layers of time and the previous inhabitants who have left their mark on this cherished space. Our approach can be likened to that of a skilled gardener tending to a garden, infused with meticulous care and thoughtful consideration. 

At the heart of our project lies the fundamental goal of rejuvenating derelict structures by envisioning alternative methods to “stabilize” them. The excavation of the ground floor slab of the market exposed ruins from 17th-century Dublin but also compromised the structural integrity of the columns holding up the balcony and roof structure. Over the next 23 years, rain pours down through the ceiling, and plants grow wild reaching out towards the sun. The scaffolding structure proposed integrates itself to provide structural support and also a spatial function. It rethinks how the former dry market hall can be used as a “Chameleon” Space which changes its function based on how platforms can be installed on the scaffolding structures and bamboo blinds can control access and light.

Remaining faithful to this guiding principle, we carefully select materials that are both easy to install and maintain. By doing so, we ensure the longevity of our interventions while harmoniously integrating them within the existing fabric of the building. Our comprehensive study encompasses various aspects such as structure and function, allowing us to propose interventions that enhance the site’s overall integrity. Through this project, we aspire to honor the essence of the Iveagh Markets while breathing new life into its dormant spaces.

HAMMOND LANE | Cultural Disassembly

The ongoing draining of spirit, life and culture of the markets area while often acknowledged, its material demolition continues covertly. Considering economic constraints, context, climate and the direction of the area, this thesis refers to cultural disassembly as both an ongoing situation and as an act of protest. 

mining, borrowing, salvaging,

repairing, transforming, storing,

re-using and reimagining.

a celebration of material, process and the spirit of the city’s very fabric.

This thesis critiques the Dublin 7 markets area under the theme of Cultural Disassembly.

Dissecting this as two readings, |1| in reference to the current situation whereby the embodied cultural significance of the markets as a wholesale, almost industrial area is waning, |2| accepting this reality and striving to bring light on the process of its material demolition, deconstruction or rather disassembly, as a cultural practice.

The vehicle to investigate this further lies in the site of HAMMOND LANE, a site historically linked to manufacture and contemporarily to vacancy and decay. Reimagining a baron, publicly owned void as a machine of process, repair and maintenance in the interest of material reuse.

Here, the relationship of manufacture and civic necessity is interrogated as

foundry, workshop, school, library, market.’

The fabric of the building itself attempts to limit addition, only through the re-use of three nearby warehouses. Various dimensions of  re-use are questioned from re-purposing of demolition rubble, to the reprocessing of steel structure and building components.

Drawing and modelling largely focus on these specific additions, and the process behind each. Secondly, on the relationship of the civic and the industrial through a reimagination of place feeding from the surrounding local historical culture as a market and trading area and the industrial heritage of the site itself.’

The Potential of the Void

The study looked at the making of civic spaces through the imagination of figurative architectural objects within an empty site facing the Liffey, in Usher’s Island. An amphitheater, a library, and a communal kitchen are placed on the lot and a pedestrian route is reimagined, drawing people within the site and away from the trafficked Bridgefoot Street. The use of figurative and platonic forms of architecture allowed me to not dwell on the typology of the new but rather to focus on how the new buildings acted upon the ground and to imagine how civic life would materialize around them.

Through the process, a hypothesis was formed: an attention to the design of the void space, not merely as the negative of self-referential buildings, but as a building matter that alternates with the built form creating relations and plots, can actively connect the new architecture to the urban tissue that contains it, and prepare it for the unforeseeable metamorphosis that it holds. In this sense, the design of the in-between spaces can become a tool for active open-endedness, and allow the city to be expandable within itself. To be a careful designer of new architectural objects is essential, but to be aware of what they do to the forever-changing city around them is imperative.

An Urban Station

A new transport interchange, and network of public spaces focused around Tara Street, Dublin City Centre. 

The urban station is concerned with enriching both the functional and experiential networks of its specific urban environment. Through ideas of connectivity and perceptual invigoration, the scheme re-evaluates existing elements and creates unique opportunities in the city, The main programmatic elements are focused around the site of Tara St Station and incorporate commercial units, an improved train platform system, bars, a restaurant, nightclub, performance space, fitness centre, water taxi terminal, and various public spaces. The public amenities take advantage of their unique locations and aim to add an element of magic, or romanticism to city life (such as the grassed plane projected out over the river, or the running track weaving between the tops of buildings). The loopline train bridge is another “negative” element that is given a new functional and aesthetic lease of life, Walkways extending from Tara St to Gardiner St, offer a new level to the pedestrian liberated from the oppressive traffic. The bridge is also structurally re-designed to reduce its sectional depth, allowing the Custom House to become part of the city centre once again. The scheme is not intended to be a prototype for how rail tracks should be used within city centres. It is however, an exploration of latent opportunities within a rich and specific urban environment.