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re:seeding the block - post industrial Dublin’s concrete island

Part 1 Project 2014
Roy Byrne
University College Cork Cork | Ireland
In Dublin’s city centre lays a vast concrete post-industrial island, surrounded by residential neighbourhoods with two of the biggest centres of cultural influence located within a 1km radius. St. James Gate has been synonymous with the brewing trade since the 17th Century and the home of Guinness since 1759. Guinness has managed to hold ground as the rest of the surrounding area transformed into residential and office space. As Guinness inevitably leaves the city its vast brewing operation is left vacant and isolated and neglected, with none of the infrastructure established that forms good communities.

This project proposes a new path that will bisect the block of St James Gate that occupies the area bordered by Victoria Quay to the north and James Street and Thomas Street to the South. The site is host to a handful of Georgian townhouses, a 1950’s red brick power station, a vast array of industrial piping, a theatre and even a swimming pool… almost all disused and in a poor state of repair. Originally built as amenities for the employees of Guinness, the area has for the longest time been used as the enormous storage yard for the thousands of kegs.

Along the proposed path, a series of interventions occur that seed the block for future growth as the area transforms into a residential neighbourhood but also a cultural hub. The National Museum of Ireland to the north and the Guinness Store House to the south are Dublin’s biggest cultural attractions, however no infrastructure exists that links the two and are isolated from eachother by the block in its current form. The project aims to link these well-established areas, buy creating an attraction all of its own but one with a strong link to a residential community, ensuring that the area remains active day and night.

The first proposed intervention is a community centre that will provide a much need home for long established, but neglected, community groups. Counter to this a nightclub will sit deeper with in the industrial heart of the block taking its inspiration from its hard surroundings.

Roy Byrne


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