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.

Living, In-between

My thesis investigates an alternative to the profit-driven development that currently shapes the housing market in Dublin City. I am proposing a new housing typology and development model to provide a collective and affordable way of living. The site chosen for this investigation currently sits vacant in the North Inner City.

The scheme consists of 16 dwellings over four floors with shared functions and a communal garden at street level. The dwellings vary in size from 69 m2 to 155 m2 in order to invite a mixture of household sizes and profiles. The dwellings are generous in size allowing the typology to sit somewhere in-between high-density city apartments and suburban housing.

The plan opposite shows two apartments and an external circulation core. Different coloured ceramic floor tiles spill out from each apartment into the shared circulation space creating different levels of threshold and ownership.

In both shared and private areas the design proposes generosity of space, encouraging freedom of use. The design aims to give people as much from the architecture as possible before they can appropriate it themselves.

The shared external circulation functions as a social meeting space for residents and allows for a gradual transition from city to dwelling. The design invites residents to take ownership of this space, occupy it and use it as an extension of the individual dwellings. The collage model below explores this concept.

Reuse. Recycle. Return. Adaptive Reuse of Redundant Structures

The body of work proposes a new vision for the city, reinvigorating existing structures through their reuse into new frameworks for urban living. In doing so this thesis also confronts pressing contemporary issues such as the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic which has changed our relationships with the places we live and work.

By reusing existing buildings in Dublin City a balance is struck between environmental stewardship and the shifting domestic landscape. Careful consideration of existing buildings in the city leads to a manifesto in pursuit of a new Urban Habitat, exploring how the buildings of today can be adapted for tomorrow. This is explored though a case study of Construction House along the canal between Rathmines and Ranelagh, currently home to the Construction Industry Federation. By examining how this building could be converted into a residential area that fosters creativity and community through the integration of lived and worked spaces, a strategy can be developed to transform similar 1970’s office buildings throughout Dublin.

Examining Construction House confronts not only how we might re-use existing buildings to address the housing and environmental crises, but also interrogates the conflation of home and professional occupation brought to the fore by the pandemic.

Reuse. Recycle. Return. Developing a strategy for the adaptive reuse of a redundant building typology that will address the climate crisis and pandemic in tandem.