Grangegorman Masterplan
The Grangegorman Masterplan creates a new higher learning campus for Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and Ireland’s national health care service (HSE). The 73 acre site was previously used by the old St. Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital and is located north of Dublin’s historic center. Walled off from the rest of the city since the early 19th century, the site is one of Dublin’s largest undeveloped pieces of land. The masterplan reintegrates this hidden jewel of open space back into the dense urban fabric of the city of Dublin. It was important to maintain links to the past by protecting much of the mature landscaping and open space as well as eleven existing historic buildings that will be revitalized with new programmatic roles. DIT plans to complete the move by 2011 when all of its 40 disparate locations will finally be accommodated on one single highly sustainable campus. HSE will also have improved facilities that will serve the surrounding community. This master plan creates a vibrant urban quarter by responding to the site’s rich historical context and strengthening connections to the existing urban fabric. A major east-west pedestrian path takes full advantage of the opportunity to join several significant green belts and circulation axes in the area. Within the campus, the master plan creates two major centers of activity: Library Square serves as the “campus heart` toward the west, while the more public-oriented Arts Forum to the east is lined with theaters, museums and exhibition galleries. A formal “urban path` links the significant destinations on the campus. A “landscaped path` counterpoints the main path to provide a more informal means of access to the buildings. A series of north-south landscape “fingers` weave through to provide direct access to the separate DIT and HSE districts. A rich hierarchy of open spaces supports activities on the campus, from serendipitous encounters to festive gatherings. The landscape design carves the land in selected areas to accommodate usable spaces on a lower “basement` level, incorporating the sports pitches (fields) harmoniously into the existing natural landscape of the site and reducing the apparent mass of the curved residential buildings. A series of water features unifies the campus and provides focal points while collecting rainwater. The design offers world-class, innovative facilities for both DIT and HSE, enhancing their identity and image by employing a contemporary interpretation of traditional collegiate quads. Student housing and amenities are woven through the site along a sinuous landscape path at the edge of the sports pitches, looking out onto the city and Dublin Mountains beyond. All existing “protected structures` within the site have been preserved, while a Cultural Garden connects the older and new buildings on the campus. The plan comprehensively delivers the goal of sustainability by considering a full range of social, economic, environmental and natural resources. A major benefit of the project is the many significant and real contributions that it will make to rejuvenating an important part of Dublin’s inner city. The Masterplan is centered on improving health care and promoting participation in lifelong learning, research, innovation, training, cultural activities, and sports. The site will remain in public ownership and continue to provide a major resource to generations of users in the decades ahead. The concept of developing health and higher education provision on one campus is unique and exciting, opening up prospects for synergistic activity in the delivery of services, development of health education, potential for community health and social research, creation of critical mass for commercial and ancillary services, as well as many other opportunities in terms of community development and interaction. The project will set the standard for future urban development projects around the world.


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