The project is part of a masterplan for the inner city site which replaces the previous Dominick Street flats complex on the east side of Lower Dominick Street, Dublin 1. The mixed use development for Dublin City Council includes apartments and townhouses with a community centre and retail space at street level. The masterplan strategy for this project seeks to reinstate the historically well-defined character of Dominick Street as both place and conduit to the cultural heart of the city. The ambition was to create an urban village. The concept was developed following consultation and testing of programme solutions that would create a sense of generosity where the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.
We have repaired the street and created a private and secure garden for the residents. We have reinstated the street face as a brick skin but layered it to provide a continuous south facing loggia that will provide convivial open space for residents and shelter from the rain. This provides an acoustic and visual barrier for the apartments to the noisy street below. The Apartment House is the building block of the project; there are 6 houses each with their stairs and core arranged along the courtyard. Each street entrance is a voluminous brick lined hall with stairs and lift leading to the upper courtyard from where the six apartment houses are accessed. The garden spaces are landscaped as rooms, to include vegetable patches, lawns and play-spaces.
The project is designed to achieve Near Zero Energy Building performance. We developed a clearly defined and highly insulated and airtight envelope. Specific sustainability measures include air source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting, centralised mechanical ventilation with heat exchange and a solar photovoltaic system. Materials are chosen for their low maintenance and durability; red brick and precast concrete string courses are the predominant material. The Parnell St building is clad in granite. The project was awarded Public Building of the Year 2023 and has been shortlisted for RIAI 2023 Housing Project of the Year.
The successful resolution of a mixed use project on an inner city site requires the input of many stakeholders; technical and statutory constraints can make the best laid plans unravel over the course of a project. Our strategy was to understand the fundamentals of brief and context and to devise a clear design parti supported by specific architectural devices at the outset so that the clarity of the concept may be retained and refined through testing, design development and construction. These architectural devices (the loggia, the courtyard and the apartment house prototype) are driven by a desire to eke out the most generous public space, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The Georgian street typology is synonymous with Dublin City; the direct relationship of simply articulated buildings to the street has ensured that the type has proved adaptable for many uses through time. The masterplan strategy for this project builds on this tradition and seeks to reinstate the historically well-defined character of Dominick Street as both place and conduit to the heart of the city. We have reinstated the street face as a brick skin but layered it to provide a continuous south facing loggia that will provide convivial open space for residents and shelter from rain and traffic noise. The granite corner block has a more sculptural form, reading clearly as a distinct building of civic scale. It is a landmark for this revived urban quarter.
Dominick Hall represents the first phase of the long term ambition for the social, economic and environmental regeneration of the former flats complex and establishes the rules for future development sites in the area. The mixed use development delivers high quality, energy efficient and accessible homes, as well as commercial and community spaces to promote a balanced and inclusive community and sustainable neighbourhood. The complex is well ordered and crafted with a simple palette of material
COTTER AND NAESSENS are an architecture and design studio based in Cork since 2001. The practice has extensive experience of mixed-use developments in urban locations. Their work is informed by design research, through teaching and design competitions. Commissions won following design contest Include dlrLexicon in Dun Laoghaire and the FOCAS Research Institute, Technical University Dublin.
DENIS BYRNE ARCHITECTS
Founded in 1998 by Denis Byrne PhD, MRIAI MRIBA, we are an established, RIAI-registered architecture practice based in Dublin, with wide experience of projects at all scales and types. In addition to our residential and workplace development projects, our work encompasses the fields of education and culture, tourism and interpretative design. We are also active in the wider planning environment, on strategic reviews, feasibility studies, masterplans, and on urban and landscape design projects.