Dublin visit

Date & Time: 8th December 2015

When the bottom dropped out of the Celtic Tiger in 2008, Dublin Institute of Technology’s dream of building a new campus in the grounds of a former mental asylum seemed doomed.  However a Public-Private Partnership initiative came to the rescue of the Moore Ruble Yudell masterplan and the Grangegorman project is now well underway.

A twenty-five strong group from the Higher Education Design Quality Forum toured the newly landscaped, inner city campus and learned about the city planning background, the complex PPP procurement model and DIT’s approach to design management. The scheme involves the provision of new science and arts faculties, a student hub, a replacement psychiatric hospital, a health centre and school in and around the historic Grangorman buildings. The former Dublin City Planner, Dick Gleeson and key members of the development team shared their experience with the group (including estates staff from a number of UK universities including London, Leeds and Plymouth) and discussed lessons learned.

In contrast with DIT’s ground-breaking campus development, the HEDQF were also invited to visit three libraries at Trinity College Dublin. The three represented varying stages of Trinity’s grand history: the antique Old Library with its high barrel vault, the brutally horizontal arrangement of the Berkeley Library designed by Ahrends Burton & Koralek in the 1960s and the box-witihin-a-box Long Room Hub, completed in 2011. Each of these superb projects reflects how knowledge was stored and disseminated, at the time of conception, in their own exquisite manner.

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