By September 2020, TU Dublin will have opened two new academic buildings – the Central Quad and the East Quad – on its flagship campus at Grangegorman. The €250 million investment will deliver 52,000+ sq m of academic space. The innovative design of the quads will integrate with the existing refurbished and repurposed 19th century buildings completed and occupied since 2014. The campus, which is open to the surrounding neighbourhoods, includes beautifully landscaped gardens, grass and all-weather playing pitches, jogging track, and a children’s playground.
The East Quad will be a Cultural Hub not only for the Grangegorman campus but also for the city. It will be accessed directly via the Broadstone Gate and the Broadstone TU Dublin Luas stop, which will be one of the primary entry points to the campus. The East Quad will be home to four Schools, which are currently spread across buildings in Aungier Street, Kevin Street, Rathmines and Grangegorman:
- Dublin School of Creative Arts
- School of Media
- Conservatory of Music and Drama
- School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences.
The Dublin School of Creative Arts was the first to move to the new campus in 2014, joined by Photography and Social Sciences. Those disciplines will transfer from their current locations on the campus to the new East Quad in September 2020, where they will be joined by colleagues and students of Media and Law, Music and Drama and Languages.
The fluid nature of the design and the vibrancy of the learning environment will facilitate exhibitions of students’ visual artwork as well as dramatic and musical performances in the 400-seat Concert Hall, 80-seat Black Box Theatre and 80-seat Recital Hall, all of which will be completely accessible to general audiences. The design of the external spaces and landscaping outside the building will also be conducive to a variety of uses such as performance, media projection and exhibition of sculpture.
The design will support the artistic practice of students and staff across all creative disciplines and will also encourage and harness inter-disciplinary synergies on campus and facilities will be accessible to all students in TU Dublin.
The Central Quad is situated at the heart of the Grangegorman campus. The height of the building and its elevated site will allow for views over playing fields and the wider campus.
With a very large floor area of 35,000m2, the Central Quad will become the new home to the College of Sciences and Health, as well as the Schools of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, and of Hospitality Management and Tourism, representing the following disciplines:
- Biological Sciences
- Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Food Science and Environmental Health
- Physics and Clinical & Optometric Sciences, including the National Optometry Centre
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Culinary Arts and Food Technology
- Hospitality Management and Tourism
Highly specialised laboratories and learning centres will provide a world-class education environment, attracting the best and brightest students to TU Dublin and positioning researchers at the forefront of scientific discovery. Locating the College of Sciences and Health, with its range of cognate disciplines, adjacent to the HSE Primary Care Centre and its Ophthalmology services, will create exciting synergies and opportunities for collaboration.
The emphasis throughout the building is on openness and accessibility, putting learning “on show” and allowing students and visitors to observe activities in laboratories and training areas. For example, a series of light wells throughout the building will provide a visual connection with the activities on the lower ground floor where the Culinary Arts Teaching spaces are located as well as Electrical Engineering Workshops.
The building has been designed as a quadrangle with a central courtyard. The entrance to the building at the Central atrium brings you to a double height space with a light slot that reaches the roof level. This bright and colourful space will house a café and a variety of breakout spaces. An emphasis on facilitating informal learning will carry through all floors with substantial breakout areas on every level where students can gather in small groups to discuss project work and meet informally.
Large lecture spaces, including a 250-seater main theatre, are clustered on the ground floor. This will facilitate the hosting of conferences and public events. Training restaurants and hospitality facilities are also located on the ground floor, directly fronting onto St Brendan’s Way so that students and visitors can enjoy the range of dining options!
Restoration of the Lower House
TU Dublin and the Grangegorman Development Agency are now embarking on an ambitious project to restore Grangegorman’s Lower House and bring it into use once again. The Lower House, opened in 1815, is the oldest building on the Grangegorman site. It was designed by Francis Johnson, the leading architect of the day whose other work includes the GPO. It is the only remaining part of the large quadrangle complex that served as the original Richmond Asylum and later became part of St. Brendan’s Hospital.
Once complete, the building will form an important part of the new University campus, offering a range of services for the staff and student body. There will be a large catering facility and coffee shop while the building will also provide Student Union areas and facilities along with a dance studio and some indoor sports areas. There will also be a number of rooms for the Conservatory of Music and Drama. It will be linked by way of a landscaped walkway to the East Quad. The Project is expected to be finished in summer 2020 with the fully restored and operational Lower House opening alongside the Central and East Quads for the start of the Academic Year that September.
Next Stages of the Grangegorman Campus development
With the East and Central Quads due to open in September 2020, the next phase of delivering the campus at Grangegorman will now move ahead. This will see the relocation of the College of Business and its 5,000 students. Scheduled for completion in 2021/22, this phase of development will deliver:
- Consolidation of library
- Additional catering facilities,
- Additional student facing facilities,
- Additional sports and recreational facilities,
- Energy Centre
- Student accommodation – up to 1,000 bed spaces in phase 1.