Reuse. Recycle. Return. Adaptive Reuse of Redundant Structures

Phillip Bigger

University College Dublin (UCD)
Tags Adaption, Flexible, Housing
Year 2021


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.


Canal House, Canal Rd, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland