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Constructive Assembly: Buildings of Democracy as Architectural and Tectonic Symbols of Participation and Exchange

Part 2 Project 2020
Eoghan Smith
University College Dublin | Ireland
Critical of the homogenising and exclusive trends in the production of space in Dublin city, this thesis proposes an architecture for the Irish Citizens Assembly - one of the country’s most important institutions for political participation - in which inclusive, deliberative dialogues in the democratic process are facilitated, and celebrated through its architecture.

The thesis questions the role of government buildings in encouraging civic participation; exploring how architectural form can foster an inclusive and participatory relationship with the city. To do this, I draw from the language of buildings symbolic of public gathering in our cities as my starting point - where the assembly of structure becomes representative of the assembly of people.

Formal aesthetic and compositional concerns are avoided in order to resist withdrawal into abstract, exclusive architectural imagery, so detrimental the life of our cities. Through an iterative process of drawing and modelling I ask: How can the architecture of this new institution borrow from the language of these archetypal places of gathering, while expressing itself as something new? How does this approach reflect on our values as architects, and the inclusive capacity of our profession within wider society?

Eoghan Smith

Chris Boyle
Orla Murphy
Emmett Scanlon
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