Construction has started on two new Quad buildings for Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) which form the next exciting phase of the award-winning masterplan for the Grangegorman project.
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBStudios) and AHR were appointed by the Eriugena consortium to design the Central and East Quads respectively for the new Grangegorman Campus. The c.€200m quads will deliver over 50,000m2 of academic space and will act as landmarks at the heart of the campus, inspiring the students and staff who use the facilities daily as well as adding new dimensions to the DIT vision of connecting with the community and the city.
DIT, with its partners ITB and ITT, is about to become Ireland’s first Technological University (TU Dublin) in January 2019. The DIT campus at Grangegorman will be central to the new university, which will also have full service campuses in Tallaght and Blanchardstown. Once complete, the Grangegorman campus will bring DIT’s 20,000 students across all disciplines to one location. The two new quads will accommodate academic activities and facilities for a total of thirteen schools of health, sciences, engineering, arts and tourism, creating a research and innovation hub for the university.
Once complete the central quad and east quad will add significantly to the changing landscape of the new Grangegorman Quarter, which already features a number of health, education and community facilities. The Grangegorman project is being delivered by the Grangegorman Development Agency on behalf of the Health Service Executive, The Department of Education and Skills, the local community and Dublin Institute of Technology.
Within this overall development the east and central quads are being delivered as a single public private partnership contract with the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) acting as the procuring body on behalf of the Minister for Education & Skills.
Central quad, designed by FCBStudios, is a contemporary and dynamic interpretation of the collegiate quad model. It will house shared teaching and learning facilities for the university and create an open and welcoming space to foster and encourage collaboration.
East quad, designed by AHR, will provide a centre of excellence for creative and performing arts and media at DIT and features a series of dramatic atria spaces and to provide a focus and identity for each of the schools, within a publicly accessible environment which will host concerts and exhibitions throughout the year.
The quadrangle space is focused on a magnificent existing copper beech and surrounded by a simple, but generous, colonnade. The vision is for a hub which will bring innovation and collaboration to the functions of the schools and colleges. A double-height atrium houses exhibition space as well as security and reception and is a clear entrance. Large windows look inwards to the green space of the quad and outwards to the Grangegorman campus neighbourhood. Routes across the quad make it an open and accessible building, announcing its role as a teaching and social centre for the university, bringing together staff, students and the local community to interact, engage and learn together.
The 35,000m² building will contain a significant element of shared general teaching space as well as a range of specialist learning spaces including wet and dry laboratories, workshops, kitchens, support spaces and teaching restaurants.
Simon Carter, partner at FCBStudios said:
“We have designed a building that will help the university to bring its staff, its students and also the wider community together, to talk more, learn more, collaborate more and together have a greater presence locally and internationally. We have adopted a rigorous approach to blending formal and informal learning to ensure that every part of the central quad is considered a learning setting.”
The materials of the facades are inspired by precedents of historical buildings in the city. The traditional Georgian brick and stone buildings of Dublin have retained their engaging appearance despite their age. The composition of the elevations owes much to Georgian principles of proportion and symmetry.
Schools based in the building will include creative arts, media, social sciences, as well as the conservatory of music and drama. AHR and Eriugena took the bold decision to depart from the exemplar design which accompanied the brief to create a series of dramatic atrium spaces around which the creativity of the various students can be experienced and shared. Double and triple height learning spaces combine with tightly controlled enclosed spaces to give a rich mix of formal and informal learning opportunities.
Gareth Banks, AHR regional director, said:
“The arts and media courses united within the new east quad building will provide an exciting new creative hub for the city. We’re thrilled to have provided students with unique and engaging resources for their learning. Not only will the students of DIT benefit from the development’s industry-leading spaces, but also the public, who will be able to enjoy outstanding music performances and theatre productions held within the 400-seat concert hall.”
The 16,940m2 east quad building offers state-of-the-art facilities to house a diverse range of schools within the College of Arts and Tourism, incorporating specialist design elements to allow the highest standards from the academic organisation. AHR worked with an array of technical consultants, including TV and theatre experts, to deliver dedicated spaces for students within the building. These areas include art and design studios, workshops, rehearsal spaces and recording studios, as well as a TV studio, production suite and black box theatre with full blue screen facilities. AHR has also offered to provide the college with 3D architectural models of the campus, enabling game design students to create games based within their very own university as part of their syllabus.
Throughout the building, AHR has created natural gathering points to inspire creative meetings between students. These spaces actively encourage collaboration, leading students from the different creative disciplines to interact, exchange ideas and develop valuable relationships.
The east and central quad buildings at the DIT Grangegorman campus are set for completion and occupation in September 2020.