Monday 17 December 2018

'An exhilarating presence' - vision for new €48m landmark UCD building unveiled

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The vision for a new main entrance to the UCD campus was unveiled today with the design for a €48m landmark building inspired by the Giant’s Causeway.

The  building, which will rise high above the N11, will be the focal point of  new entrance precinct that will include a reflecting pool, new open green spaces and cafés.

The design, created  by a team led by acclaimed New York and Beijing-based studio Steven Holl Architects (SHA), has been announced as winner of the  UCD Future Campus architectural competition, which attracted entries from 98 teams in 28 countries.

The 8,000 sq m building, to be known as the UCD Centre for Creative Design, was,  in part, inspired by the geology of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Causesway’s interlocking basalt columns, created by volcanic activity some 60 million years ago on the coast of County Antrim, are recognised throughout the world.

The building will feature an abundant use of natural light coming through two major vertical structures angled at 23 degrees - mirroring the tilt of the earth - which take their design cue from UCD’s 1972 water tower.

The design is intended to encourage creative collaboration and interaction with a “circuit of social connection” allowing students, academics and visitors to peer in to creator and classroom spaces through glass walls.

UCD President, Professor Andrew  Deeks, who chaired the competition jury, said the centre “promises to be an exhilarating presence, announcing UCD from afar, creating a new Dublin landmark, and giving visitors, students and faculty a definite sense of arrival.”.

Past SHA campus projects include the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Expansion and Glassell School, the Lewis Arts Complex at Princeton University, and the Reid Building at the Glasgow School of Art.

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