The project is located in a neighbourhood in Dublin affected by a process of urban regeneration. New studios are proposed to extend and occupy a neglected boiler house. The building encloses a plaza which becomes an upward urban landscape.
Juan José Cruz
James Tendayi Matsuku
Building area: 1760 sqm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Client: Ballymun Regeneration Ltd
Ballymun is a residential area in Northern Dublin. Its regeneration plan has gradually led to the introduction of a new urban model with low-density residential typologies, parks, leisure facilities and other infrastructure which have increased the significance of Ballymun within Dublin’s urban fabric.
The Boilerhouse studios aim to provide a new cultural centre and intend to give the town a character of its own. This way, the project, regarded almost as a ‘surgical operation’, endeavours to bring a new public building while harnessing the underlying notion of social inclusion.
The transformation of the existing building and its program is intended to transcend beyond the boundaries of the site through the insertion of an urban plaza. The public space opens up the cultural centre around it and positions the exhibitions and the artists’ studios at a more civic and urban orientated level.
The plaza grows and slips into the surrounding space through a series of ramps and surfaces creating an amphitheatrical atmosphere. Visitors and residents can gather, meet, watch a street performance, observe passersby or enjoy the public urban life. One side of the surface rises up to the Boilerhouse roof, allowing street access to the open-air exhibition area.
The project has kept the chimney of the old Boilerhouse as a part of the heritage of Ballymun and as a distinguishing feature of its skyline.
The distribution of the program is based on a sliding scale that goes from more public (to the west) to more private (to the east). This fact is also evident in the façade treatment, where the size of the openings and their density follows the gradual change the program inside. This way the skin of each of the three blocks keeps their individual identity but at the same time remains integrated into the same language.