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Dublin One District Reimagined by Top US Architects

  • Tue 14 March, 2017

The Dublin One vision document, devised by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a design assistance team, is now complete and has been presented to the capital’s first citizen, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr.

A public workshop with over 140 guests took place in The Gresham Hotel on Friday (March 10th) where the AIA received feedback from the general public including key stakeholders of the Dublin One area, residents and business members. This was a key part of their visit to gain an insight into the area and crucial for the preparation of the final report.

They have been working through the weekend alongside Dublin City Architects’ Framework Project and a group of volunteer architects from Ireland and across Europe to compile this extensive document.

During the closing workshop in the Gresham Hotel on the 13th of March, the AIA outlined their findings and recommendations to guests. Highlights of the document include:

  • The design team recommends that Dublin One start small, by considering some low cost parklets along Capel Street that will strengthen the public realm there.
  • In similar fashion, the team recommends an initial focus on enlivening the alleys and alleyways as well as North Lotts Street with low cost design interventions.
  • The team believes Wolfe Tone Park could – and should – become a great public space, and recommends investment to enliven that space and make it more welcoming.
  • The Fruit and Vegetable Market has near term potential for incubating entrepreneurs and making Little Mary Street a destination, as well as serving as a bridge to Smithfield.
  • The team believes that its long-term strategy for Dublin One requires creation of a special agency to lead regeneration efforts, as well as the establishment of a special district to help focus investments in Dublin One and synergize them.
  • In the long-term, the team recommends a strategy to humanise Henry Street and create a civic “living room” through a series of placemaking strategies.

It was a huge honour to have Dublin City and the Dublin One district chosen as the focal point for this project as it is the very first time that the AIA’s Sustainability Design Assistance Team Programme (SDAT) have conducted a project like this outside of North America. The AIA chose Dublin over every other International location because of the huge potential that this area possesses. 

Commenting on the report, Joel Mills Senior Director at AIA said:

The Dublin One district has many assets to be proud of. The report we presented to the Lord Mayor tonight, gives a comprehensive but high level look at opportunities to further enhance the district and considerations for future projects and initiatives. It aims to provide a roadmap to address the aspirations of the stakeholders. We would like to thank our partners, the citizens and workers of Dublin One for their participation in this exciting project.

On receiving the vision document. Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr said:

I am delighted to receive the document on behalf of the citizens of Dublin. Dublin One is an area filled with history, character and people that make it very special.  The findings and recommendations in this report will be helpful to city planners when considering the future of the area. The fact that Dublin One was chosen by AIA’s design assistance team programme as the first area outside of North America goes to show the potential this district has. There is a clear momentum building in the district thanks to the close partnership of the various stakeholders including Dublin City Council, Gardaí and DublinTown.  It is now time to build upon that momentum.

Ali Grehan City Architect, Dublin City Council commented:

Working alongside the AIA team over the last few days and meeting so many people with a passion for what Dublin One can be has been inspiring. We heard a consistent story from the people who live and work in the area, which is that they have a vision and want it realised. We hope that the Reimagine Dublin One process will continue to meet expectations.

Richard Guiney, CEO, DublinTown said: 

It has been a great boost for Dublin One to be recognised by such a prestigious agency as the American Institute of Architects. This report yields valuable inputs combining both innovative ideas and best international thinking.  Dublin One is a key district in Dublin City Centre which has enormous potential to be a beacon of imaginative regeneration that is also sympathetic to its heritage.  We are confident that with the co-operation of its stakeholders the district will once again be a key vibrant European city destination.

Reimagine Dublin One is a partnership between the AIA, Dublin City Architects’ Framework Project and DublinTown to create a shared vision for the future of Dublin One. If you wish to view the document in full please click here.

Photos by Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland