Out of a top-notch shortlist of six interdisciplinary teams in the University College Dublin’s Future Campus competition, Steven Holl Architects ultimately won the jury's favor with their proposal for the school's new 8,000 square-meter Centre for Creative Design and Entrance Precinct Masterplan, which will be built on an approximately 24-hectare area on campus. A completion date for the project is yet to be announced.
Steven Holl Architects teamed up with Dublin-based Kavanagh Tuite Architects, U.S. analysts Brightspot Strategy, Arup, HarrisonStevens landscape architects and urban designer, and Transsolar.
“The competition was all about design excellence and we had an intimation at the shortlisting stage with the quality of studios applying that we would need to respond to a world of choices,” said Hugh Campbell, Professor of Architecture at UCD and competition juror, in a statement. “Holl’s winning proposal combines the striking form of the Centre for Creative Design building with a clear and robust masterplan.”
The jury also awarded a special commendation to the John Ronan Architects team for “a masterplan of great clarity that was beautifully thought through and a Centre for Creative Design that had gravitas and a gentle, rational strength.”
Read on for more about the winning proposal.
Focusing on Place and Space, the winning masterplan and UCD's new Centre for Creative Design “are not just iconic objects — they reflect on the history and quality of UCD’s campus, responding to the particulars of the site to create place and space,” Steven Holl said.
The team envisions the Centre as a gateway to seven new quadrangles of open green space, which are designed to highlight UCD's historic features and woodland landscape.
A new pedestrian spine will run parallel to the campus' original spine to form an H-plan circulation of covered walkways, which will also double as a near-net zero energy infrastructure.
Other elements include cafes and informal social spaces located along paths, water-retention ponds, rain- and wind-protected seating areas, and preserved specimen trees.
Set by a plaza and reflecting pool, the prismatic Centre for Creative Design building was inspired by the geology of the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland.
The auditorium echoes the shape of UCD’s iconic dodecahedral 1972 water tower, and the Centre’s towers respond to the water tower’s pentagonal pillar.
Abundant natural light will filter into the Centre's two vertical structures angled at 23 degrees (mirroring the tilt of the earth's axis).
The Centre intends to encourage creative collaboration among students, faculty, and visitors with a “circuit of social connection” of studio and classroom spaces built with glass walls. The building will also provide quiet spaces.
“Holl’s vision is intriguing and striking – combining an iconic design for the Centre for Creative Design with a masterplan distinguished by a few considered, highly intelligent moves that open up the centre of the campus and use creative landscaping to intensify its natural beauty,” commented Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President of University College Dublin and competition jury chair.
The esteemed competition jury included:
Professor Andrew J. Deeks (Jury Chair), President, University College Dublin
David Adjaye, Principal, Adjaye Associates
Ann Beha, Principal, Ann Beha Architects and Member, Harvard University Design Advisory Panel
Joe Berridge, Partner, Urban Strategies, Inc.
Professor Hugh Campbell, Professor of Architecture, Head of Subject and Dean, School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, University College Dublin
Dermot Desmond, Chairman, International Investment & Underwriting
Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact and Professor of Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin
Professor David P. FitzPatrick, Principal, College of Engineering & Architecture and Dean of Engineering, University College Dublin and Provost, Beijing-Dublin International College
Professor Michael Monaghan, Vice-President for Campus Development, University College Dublin
Sean Mulryan, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Ballymore
Dr. Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor, Royal College of Art, London
The jury’s Administrative Chair: Malcolm Reading, Architect and Competition Director
All images courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants.
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