Method _

Remaking a piece of found ground in Dublin City through subtraction. To excavate and take advantage of existing site conditions and pieces of the city’s history which have been left behind in the wake of new developments. The idea that a building is not a static object but that it has a life of its own and that this could be conveyed through its form, skin or use.


Proposal _

To retain the old theatre entrance on Longford Street and to stitch it back into the fabric of both the place and the city. To fold the existing boundary wall on Stephen Street back into the site, allowing the fold to act as both an entrance and more importantly to address the Georgian Townhouse opposite. This move provides new breathing space to both the house and the street, and also creates new public ground in the city, partly sheltered by the overhanging studios and the foliage of the red birch trees contained within the sunken garden.

The programme is a bronze foundry consisting of a large courtyard and a series of different scale workshops. This poche space contained at the centre of the block acts as a workyard for the foundry and also provides breathing space for the programme and the city.


Rather than starting my thesis with a preconceived building or typology in mind, I began instead by looking at the large areas of low-density residential housing, occurring on the outskirts of Wexford town.  With little or no public amenities or services.  I wanted to better understand what the community and area needed prior to settling on a proposal.

I proceeded to focus in on the area of Coolcotts because of its density combined with the lack of facilities, high rate of early school leaving and unemployment.  Coolcotts had a population of almost 2500 people with a serious scarcity of community facilities – “Coolcotts has become a village without the necessary services and infrastructure to support the population”.

Through community engagement, surveys, interviews with residents, and local Community Groups, it became clear that one building was not enough.

My final proposal involved the insertion of a series of public buildings along an external path that incorporated additional activities and social spaces (squares, gardens, playgrounds etc.).  Establishing a more connected and accessible relationship with the existing built fabric.

My concept was based on three components:
1.    Path
2.    Activity
3.    Building
The path functioning as the organising axis for the elements by which it is accompanied.  A form of ‘social acupuncture’.  In the practice of acupuncture, a traditional Chinese form of medicine, the human body can be healed by the insertion of small needles at particular pressure points.

The task was to locate the ‘pressure points’ in the suburban fabric, and then through the careful insertion of community buildings, services and spaces, stitching it together to form a cohesive whole.

‘Architecture alone cannot create communities, no matter how well considered or practiced.  Architecture must provide the conditions for communities to exist and grow in a healthy, diverse and inclusive way.’ 

The Foyer, An Investigation of Social and Economic Barriers to Health

The focus of my project is to explore a way to reduce health inequalities that exist in our society today. This includes people who are socially excluded within the city. It attempts to create a healthier city by integrating communities, placing value upon our public realm and forming an attitude towards the need for civic interaction while creating the best kind of internal and external environment – one that honours the needs and well-being of those who will use it.

The proposal sets out to create a Foyer for the city which reflects a new public house. It will include multi-use facilities including a reception foyer, a community café, G.P suites, counselling rooms, a branch public library, community rooms and an accommodation block. It addresses a shortcoming in civic institutions and civic places that allows for the welcoming of these people who may need short-term to medium-term support.

The chosen site for this exploration is a vacant plot adjacent to Colbert Station in Limerick City, Ireland. It is situated along Parnell Street, a site where I have observed a very evident explicit result of impoverishment. I have recognised that there is an abundance of people within this part of the city in dire circumstances that we have become so anaesthetized to. Thus, I have located the building in an area of the city where it is most needed.

The constriction of the proposal is made up of a red brick double-stacked open stretcher bond, it is a self-supporting façade intermittently tied back to a glulam column and beam superstructure to allow differential movement. Its colour echoes that of the surrounding Georgian buildings to add some unity to the streetscape. The double stacked and open bond of brickwork states the envelope is not load bearing but a screen enveloping the whole building creating different types of environments of light and ventilation conditions through various treatments of the perforated brick.

The Castle Centre: Shining a Spotlight on Architectural Form

The Castle Centre, situated on an inflexion between the seafront and the commercial heart of Ballycastle, provided an opportunity for an exciting performance and social hub, something wholly unique for the North Coast of Ireland. The design takes shape around five key concepts: a break in the street, a beacon for ‘the island’, the potential for two facades, using the agricultural barn as a structural module and ‘place making’. It is the very crux of the project that it must not only serve the local community and heritage, but also be a mirror of it. The elements include a central hall, individual study spaces, flexible meeting facilities, a outdoor seating facility and a purpose-built stage facing the square, with the tower being a physical representation of an attitude taken to the community which the building intends to serve: can this hub not only facilitate Ballycastle, but also the population of Rathlin Island, who are so dependent on the mainland. Through a physical beacon, which calls to the lighthouse typology so ingrained within the coastal environment, the net which the project’s cast is widened.

The long-standing ritual of barn raising became a key player in the narrative of the project. It provided the basis from which the structural module was created, and thus the project takes its form from the module. The material pallet is selected as to create independent experiences on the exterior and interior: The exterior is detailed through concrete at a human scale which is separated from the constant pitched roof by glazing. The interior is distinguished through a timber ply finish and glulam structure, creating an instant separation between inside and outside. This structural identity is dictated so that certain spatial moves can result in special places being experienced. This manifests itself predominantly in the meeting points between elements; roof and glazing, floor and wall, wall and ceiling.