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Narrows and Knots

Part 2 Project 2015
Alice Nickell
Queen's University Belfast, UK
Dublin is a city of boundaries and enclosed worlds: walls, objects and in-betweens. Historical estates such as Dublin Castle, Trinity College and the Archbishops Palace on Kevin Street Upper have boundary walls to the city, and their buildings act as objects defining the external spaces. The placement of the buildings creates experiential conditions of glimpses or ‘narrows’. This is a spatial condition of constriction and openness, being led through spaces, given intriguing glimpses of things beyond, or referred back to where you have come from. The thesis is as much about these transitions as it is about the spaces – the motion of slipping through, a sense of compression and cropped views.

On the site of the historical Archbishops Palaces, currently a Garda station, this idea of narrows can happen on all scales – on the scale of the urban block, the building, the communal space and the apartments, and therefore the thesis project has been simultaneously designed on all these levels. The apartments billow and constrict in plan, creating adaptable spaces, and giving a sense of discovery and onwardness through rooms and around corners; through narrows and knots.

Alice Nickell


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