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Samuel Beckett Civic Campus

A Democratic Space

Bucholz Mcevoy Architects

Founded in Dublin in 1996, the architecture firm of Merritt Bucholz - born in Chicago and educated in America - and Karen McEvoy - Irish by birth and training - brings together two different architectural cultures from opposite sides of the Atlantic. Both, however, share the same goal: to seek the best technological solutions, and the most sustainable materials and techniques to build contemporary architecture in the most efficient way. In the space of a little more than 20 years, the two architects have become reference models. Chosen to represent Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2002 and 2006, the BMCEA practice has received critical and public acclaim for many noteworthy projects. In addition, Bucholz has been influential in the professional training sector, founding Limerick University’s School of Architecture in 2012 and directing it until 2018. Completed and opened to the public in 2016, the Samuel Beckett Civic Campus in Dublin - winner of the Irish Wood Marketing Federation (WMF) Award for the best timber architecture - deservedly continues to arouse great interest. This huge multifunctional public complex was designed with the participation of the local community. A series of workshops with the different end-user groups employed physical models of various scales and computer simulations to inform participants and exchange views on the solutions proposed by the architects. The civic center was the first project of a wider social and community regeneration plan - today in its second phase - to upgrade service provision in Ballyogan, an outlying district south of Dublin cut through by a major freeway. The arrival of a direct cross-city tram/light rail service, called the Luas, linking the neighborhood with central Dublin was concomitant with the building of the Samuel Beckett Civic Campus. Bucholz and McEvoy have declared that their aim was to create a democratic campus that gave concrete follow-up to the needs of a community but which could also be...

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