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Rood Dwelling: A Non-denominational Monastery, Werburgh Street, Dublin

Part 2 Project 2006
University College Dublin Dublin Ireland
Extricating investigations from the ideological constraints of our various pasts, the project sees virtue in re-establishing contact with the spirit of dwelling.

The dwelling is recognised as primary protection to our existence in nature, allowing the individual inhabitant to experience both isolation from, and expansion towards, the collective. The study reinforces a way of thinking about the dwelling as a place in which to prosper, where one can expand in a way that is freedom.

Freedom is afforded by the vertical wall, here acknowledged as an indispensable tool in the creation of bounded domains; defining enclosures, delimiting spaces that are particular.

Applying the same principles of the module to the Whole, an ‘urbanistic’ approach synthesises and intensifies experiments at different scales; from the unit house to its disposition within the continuum of urban morphological fabric.



The analysis which underpins the design of a Monastery at the core of medieval Dublin is both articulate and seamless in its explication of the relation between individual and community. Drawing upon diverse sources for inspiration and support, from passage graves to Seidlung Halen, Seamus Heaney to the structure of Gregorian chant, Desmond Cooper manifests an exquisite gift for the critical use of precedent, whether architectural, artistic, sociological, technical or literary, the fruits of which find repose in the synthetic character of the work which results, where the unity of space is understood as informed by yet pre-eminent over any functional imperative or singular inspiration.

2006
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