The project is a model for resilient design, sitting adjacent to the Grand Canal in Dublin’s Docklands

Waterfront Masterplan

Dublin, Ireland
Connecting people, places, and ideas

The prestigious University was looking for a new, world-class new research and innovation precinct to complement its existing city-centre campus.

Located in the City’s Docklands area, just over a mile away from their existing campus, the University will provide an adaptable central location to the district that ensures talent, investment, innovation and enterprise connect in a sustainable and welcoming environment.

Dedicated to technology and innovation, the University’s second campus will completely transform the Grand Canal Quay plot, adding a series of public spaces, retail, research institutions, cultural facilities, and modern workspace to attract over 400 start-ups to this area of Dublin.

The Docklands area is already home to some of the world’s largest technology companies. Our vision will place a dynamic business and cultural hub at its heart, prompting further urban regeneration locally while creating educational and employment opportunities for the entire city.

What it is
A modern, sustainable and technologically-innovative centrepiece for Dublin’s thriving tech community.
Reimagining Innovation in Dublin

Culture sits at the heart of the scheme and will be one of the development’s anchors. A theatre will open onto a central square and become a civic centre of activity, pulling cultural events and activities to centre stage. A former sugar mill will be transformed into a hub of innovation and interaction. Repurposed as a cultural and co-working space, the listed building will extend to meet the waterfront and become the new gateway from the Quay into the heart of the site.

An Opportunity for Coexistence

We designed the campus to meet the needs of students, businesses and local residents while also reflecting the role of a modern, forward-thinking city. From day one, we spotted the opportunity to develop community ties while creating countless new job opportunities. For this, education and industry will co-exist with civic space to develop the district further as a sustainable academic and economic driver with people at its heart.

A place that is social, activated and energetic, at all times of the day and night, for those who live and work there and those who pass by. The most successful examples of innovation districts build on and revalue the intrinsic qualities of cities: proximity, critical mass, diversity, authenticity, and vibrant places that are open and welcoming to all.
Buildings will provide a fluid, transparent and animated environment at the ground plane across the site. They will be opened up to the outside, both physically and visually, to the greatest extent possible.
Connecting Urban Blocks

Our design elevates the area as a central organising platform that connects currently disparate and scattered tech companies. Businesses will be united in close proximity, organised around government, academia, and industry. The hub will also connect a currently disconnected urban block to its surroundings, linking the campus to both public transport and the University’s main campus, re-stitching the former industrial estate into the city’s greater urban fabric.

What makes it cool
An adaptable and sustainable catalyst for talent, investment, innovation and enterprise.
There are more than 40,000 people already employed throughout the Docklands so there is a clear opportunity to position the district as the centre of this activity; to fill the gap in the existing ecosystem.
The site is extremely well-connected to the rest of the Docklands and Dublin.
A Symbol of World-leading Urban Design

Designed as a thriving innovation district within a great city, the Innovation Hub is a symbol of world-leading urban design supported by rigorous reviews and analysis. We began the process by looking at what makes Dublin work as a city before considering what makes other cities with similar districts around the world great. We measured these things, tried to understand them and used the outcomes to drive the entire design, influencing everything from building heights and materials to how the streets, squares, and open spaces are connected.

Set Up for the Future

The client brief requested a new district that would honour the institution’s rich history while setting it up to last long into the future. Our design incorporates high-performance systems with the flexibility to adapt to new innovations. Centralised power can be replaced by super high-performance building skins that supply power throughout. Any project that requires people to drive to it is fundamentally unsustainable, and we wanted to make life as easy as possible for cyclists. Our design includes plans for an abundance of bike parking and a deliberately low number of car parking spaces.

The new buildings will exalt the surrounding streets, so they come alive with activity and connect to the residential areas to the north and west.

Project Team

Lydia Collis
David Green
Brandon Buck
Jeffrey R. Zynda
Ralph Johnson
Jeff Williams