University College Dublin

The brief comprises two distinct functions; a research institute for highly specialised investigations in medical microbiology and laboratories for routine testing of medical samples. The separate activities share technical resources. The site is a sheltered location in Belfield campus, between the carpark and the lake, on sloping ground among mature trees.

Area: 1,300 sqm
Completion: 2003

Single storey laboratories are planned around a landscaped courtyard and connected to an existing testing facility.

The Research Laboratories are raised above the ground, like north facing studios, with long views over Dublin Bay. Extract fumes are filtered and exhausted via the high chimney roof form, with no pipes on the skyline. The steel frame structure is clad all over in fibre cement panels, with wooden canteen and conference rooms grouped under the main body of the building.

A complex brief, stringent technical criteria, restricted budget and the requirement for clear spaces for concentrated work are resolved in a simple and expressive architectural form.