The Market School

Jonathan Janssens

University College Dublin (UCD)
Tags Adaptive landscapes, Education, Market
Year 2012


This thesis deals with the tension created between an abandoned existing structure, the memory of a market building and the grain of an existing context. Structure becomes the dominant theme informing the creation of flexible and adaptable learning spaces which respond to both the scale of the person and scale of the city.

School design is a subject in the field of architecture, which should come naturally given that the majority of us spend two decades of our lives in types of institutional buildings. School buildings essentially act as facilitators for learning spaces which, when successful, engage with their surrounding landscape. Many designers like Herman Hertzberger understood their potential, identifying schools as ‘frameworks’ where pupils could develop freely. Hans Scharoun also saw them as a platform for gradual integration into the community without repressing pupils individuality (Blundell Jones, 1997). As places of learning, school buildings should be as inspirational as the inhabitants that use them.

Be it a house, market or school, what is crucial in any design is its negotiation on a number of scales. From the macro or city/landscape scale, to the micro or detail/material scale. This could be called a ‘dialogue’ and happens on multiple levels relating to city, building, material and inhabitants. This ‘dialogue’ is particularly relevant in the design of a school as inhabitants engage with and adapt to the building; as mentioned previously, it is a facilitator for learning.


12 St Michan's St, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 NRC6, Ireland