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University College Dublin Competition Reveals Design Concepts

Sasaki, as part of the Diller Scofido + Renfro team, is delighted to share newly-revealed concepts submitted for the Future Campus – University College Dublin International Design Competition. The concepts for all six shortlisted teams were released by competition organizers, Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC), today, and will be displayed in an exhibition on the University College Dublin campus for the community to view.

In March of this year, University College Dublin and MRC narrowed the field of 98 submissions from 28 countries to a shortlist of six international teams:

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (US)

John Ronan Architects (US)

O’Donnell + Tuomey (Ireland)

Steven Holl Architects (US)

Studio Libeskind (US)

UNStudio (Netherlands)

Sasaki, as part of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro team, brings urban design and campus planning expertise to developing a vision for the Entrance Precinct Masterplan and the Centre for Creative DesignThe team’s concept “evolves the campus toward a dynamic, forward-looking learning environment, driven by ecology, placemaking, and an understanding of changing pedagogy,” explains Sasaki urban designer, principal, and Chair of Design, Dennis Pieprz, Hon. ASLA. “The entire process working in a highly interdisciplinary team with global leaders in their respective disciplines, has been energizing and we are proud of the scheme we’ve put forth for consideration.”

To read the full competition brief, click here.

Read on for the full press release from Malcolm Reading Consultants:

Competing visions for University College Dublin’s Future Campus revealed

Designs from the six international competition finalists displayed in online gallery

The teams’ urban design visions for an Entrance Precinct Masterplan and concept designs for a new circa €48m Centre for Creative Design are now available to view on the competition website.

The brief to competitors was to draw up an urban design vision that foregrounds a highly-visible and welcoming entrance precinct, and create a concept design for a charismatic yet integrated new 8,000 sqm building – the Centre for Creative Design – that expresses the University’s creativity. The Future Campus project is intended to create a stronger physical presence and identity for the University within Dublin, and raise the profile of UCD nationally and internationally.

Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President of University College Dublin and competition jury chair, said:

“This is an exciting, energising moment for University College Dublin. We now have six possible futures for our campus centre-stage, and all from acclaimed international teams, who are creating the most interesting and iconic architecture today.

“We are seeking comments on the design proposals from the UCD community and their feedback will be of interest to the jury, who face the absorbing task of analysing the schemes and interviewing the teams.

“This is such an important project: the jury’s choice will shape the identity of the University over the coming decades and allow UCD to realise the potential of its exceptional campus.”

Professor Hugh Campbell, Professor of Architecture at University College Dublin and member of the competition jury, said:

“The brief for UCD’s Future Campus design competition asked a great deal of the shortlisted teams. The competition focuses on enhancing and enlivening our extensive green campus and on embodying UCD’s ethos of innovation and creativity in the new Centre for Creative Design.

“We are seeking an integrated design proposal that improves the experience of our campus for its users and that better connects us to our surroundings, orientating us outwards to the world and inviting our communities to engage with us.”

Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, said:

“In commissioning an international competition, UCD has demonstrated its commitment to design excellence and confirmed its receptiveness to talent, ingenuity and imagination – as shown in the designs revealed today.

“As universities increasingly compete across national boundaries to attract gifted students and researchers, the range of facilities and the quality of experience they provide become ever-more important. Through this competition, UCD has expressed an ambitious vision for the future and moved closer to achieving it.”

The six teams (lead consultants listed in alphabetical order below with full details in the Notes to Editors) were selected in April by a panel chaired by the competition jury chair Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President of University College Dublin. The shortlist was expanded from the expected five to six in recognition of the outstanding response from the international design community.

  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro (US)
  • John Ronan Architects (US)
  • O’Donnell + Tuomey (Ireland)
  • Steven Holl Architects (US)
  • Studio Libeskind (US)
  • UNStudio (Netherlands)

The first stage of the competition, which sought expressions of interest detailing each competitor’s proposed team and experience, attracted 98 teams from 28 countries.

Each finalist team will receive an honorarium of €40,000 for their competition work and international teams were required to team up with a local executive team for the second stage.

Known as Ireland’s Global University, University College Dublin is the country’s largest and most internationally-engaged higher education body, the destination of choice for international students coming to Ireland. It is also the most popular choice for Irish students seeking a university place in their home country.

Founded as an independent university 160 years ago by the visionary John Henry Newman, UCD has been a vital and influential force in shaping modern Ireland, both politically and culturally. UCD’s ability to foster creativity and expressiveness is reflected by alumni including the 20th century’s outstanding author, James Joyce; film maker Gabriel Byrne; and comedian Dara Ó Briain; as well as many successful architects and designers.

The competition jury (see the Notes for details) will assess the final submissions and interview the teams in July, with the winner announcement anticipated for August.

The competition is being run in accordance with EU procurement rules and the Republic of Ireland’s S.I. No. 284/2016 European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016. This competition has been advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

For competition media enquiries

Malcolm Reading Consultants
Catherine Reading
+44 (0)20 7831 2998

For competition enquiries

Malcolm Reading Consultants
Jayne Broomhall
+44 (0)20 7831 2998

For enquiries about University College Dublin

Eilis O’Brien
+353 87205 7125

Notes to Editors

Finalist teams in full

  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro (US) with Scott Tallon Walker Architects, Sasaki Associates, GROSS. MAX., Arup, Atelier Ten, IN2 Engineering Design Partnership, Linesight, Michael Slattery Associates and i3PT
  • John Ronan Architects (US) with RKD Architects, CLUAA, BSM Landscape, Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture, Arup, Transsolar and Pritchard Themis
  • O’Donnell + Tuomey (Ireland) with Allies and Morrison, Arup, Hargreaves Associates, Superposition, Plattenbau Studio, Phil Jones Associates, Max Fordham, MLM Group, Dermot Foley Landscape Architects and Horganlynch
  • Steven Holl Architects (US) with Kavanagh Tuite Architects, Brightspot Strategy, Arup, HarrisonStevens and Transsolar
  • Studio Libeskind (US) with BDP, !melk, NRB, Dcon, Arup, Brock McClure Consultants, O’Herlihy Access Consultancy, JGA and i3PT
  • UNStudio (Netherlands) with MOLA Architecture, Arup, REDscape Landscape & Urbanism, fwdesign, Maurice Johnson & Partners and i3PT

Profiles of the shortlisted teams can be found on the competition website.

Competition jury

  • Professor Andrew J. Deeks (Jury Chair), President, University College Dublin
  • Sir David Adjaye, Principal, Adjaye Associates
  • Ann Beha, Principal, Ann Beha Architects and Member, Harvard University Design Advisory Panel
  • Joe Berridge, Partner, Urban Strategies, Inc.
  • Professor Hugh Campbell, Professor of Architecture, Head of Subject and Dean, School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, University College Dublin
  • Dermot Desmond, Chairman, International Investment & Underwriting
  • Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact and Professor of Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin
  • Professor David P. FitzPatrick, Principal, College of Engineering & Architecture and Dean of Engineering, University College Dublin and Provost, Beijing-Dublin International College
  • Professor Michael Monaghan, Vice-President for Campus Development, University College Dublin
  • Sean Mulryan, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Ballymore
  • Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor, Royal College of Art, London

The jury’s Administrative Chair is Malcolm Reading, Architect and Competition Director.

University College Dublin

Founded over one hundred and sixty years ago, University College Dublin is one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities; an environment where undergraduate education, masters and PhD training, research, innovation and community engagement form a dynamic spectrum of activity.

UCD is also Ireland’s most globally engaged university with over 33,000 students drawn from over 120 countries, and includes 5,500 students based at locations outside of Ireland.

UCD is the university of first choice among Irish undergraduate students. The university has the highest proportion of graduate students in Ireland, including over 1,500 PhDs.

Beyond its education and research remit the University is renowned for its sporting achievement. Eight UCD students took part in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games making up 10% of the Irish national team. They represented Ireland in athletics, hockey, modern pentathlon, and rowing, bringing home a silver medal in the men’s lightweight double sculls.

Project Background

UCD’s main campus, known as the Belfield Campus, is located just four km from Dublin city centre and is notably green and expansive. The first campus masterplan was conceived by Polish architect Andrzej Wejchert, the winner of a competition held by UCD in 1963.

Today, the campus covers 133 ha and contains over eight km of woodland walks, some of which are flanked by mature trees that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Through this project, UCD aims to increase the sense of arrival to the University by creating a highly-visible and welcoming entrance with greater presence from the road as well as looking to the future, creating an urban design vision that values high quality placemaking, architecture and public realm. The Centre for Creative Design will be located in a prominent position within the masterplan area and will be a charismatic new building that expresses the University’s creativity – a making and learning lab.

UCD is working closely with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the National Transport Authority on the Entrance Precinct Masterplan initiative. UCD has secured initial funding and will continue to fundraise for the project, targeting a mixture of private sources and public grants.

A previous competition for development on the UCD campus, including its entrance, was launched in 2007. This project was to be led by UCD in conjunction with a development partner, but was subsequently cancelled due to the global economic downturn in 2008.

The new project will be led and financed by UCD exclusively.

Malcolm Reading Consultants

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic consultancy that helps clients to imagine and define contemporary environments, both built and natural. MRC is the leading specialist in creating and managing international design competitions. MRC believes in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration.

Recent work includes competitions for the Illuminated River Foundation (London), Science Island (Kaunas, Lithuania), the Royal College of Art (London), the V&A (London), the Mumbai City Museum, and new buildings in the UK for New College, Oxford and Homerton College, Cambridge.

MRC’s highly successful design competition for the AU$250m Adelaide Contemporary art gallery and public sculpture park has recently concluded, and the consultancy is currently advising Exeter College, Oxford and preparing the British Library’s Design Brief for London’s Knowledge Quarter, as well as running a number of private invited competitions.

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