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TU Dublin Academic Hub & Library

The Academic Hub will be a landmark building at the heart of Technological University Dublin’s Grangegorman Campus. It is a cluster of buildings arranged around external courts. At the centre is the protected North House, within the old St Brendan’s hospital.

It will include a lively ground floor with student services, a café, exhibition space and Learning Commons. On the upper levels will be the new Library for the Campus. It is envisaged as a light-filled lantern providing views across the city landscape, the building is a showcase for learning, research and academic activities. These fundamental principles inform the design development of the scheme.

Area:
10,000m2
Client:
Grangegorman Development Agency
Competition:
Start Year:
End Year:

The starting point for our approach to the Academic Hub is the existing North House. The North House may have a single name, but it is in fact a pair of buildings, of varying heights. It consists of the North House West; a three storey building, with a central spine wall, the North House East; a two storey frame building with the potential for large open plan spaces and a central stair and water tower that is taller than both buildings.

The proposal for the Academic Hub is to create a cluster of a buildings, that can be integrated with the existing, rather than creating a single large building that would envelop and consume the North House.

The cluster of buildings results in a series of landscaped courtyards and pocket spaces between the old and new buildings.

The Academic Hub should draw and invite people in by blurring the edges between the inside and outside.

The entry level could be set out like a market, with the library floating above, an urban crossroads to enhance different forms of exchange and communication between people.

The Academic Hub is to be an integral part of the overall workings of the Grangegorman campus. The DIT Library forms a central point in the overall scheme. It connects back to other academic facilities and departments in a variety of ways.

The location of the Academic Hub at the crossroads of the masterplan means that it is in a very prominent position.The masterplan requires that the North House remains visible when approaching the Academic Hub from the north. It also identifies key views from the Academic Hub towards the Dublin Mountains and down St Brendan’s Way. The Academic Hub will be very apparent from St Brendan’s Way which is the prime pedestrian route through the site.

A prime feature of the masterplan is the creation of a generous pedestrian friendly public realm. The Academic Hub sits facing the main plaza overlooking the fields to the south. It also addresses the Library Square to the north and forms the western edge of the green finger between it and the Central Quad.

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