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Diploma Høst 2014

A Piece of City

David Kennedy

Urban housing. Dublin, Ireland


Being in a city feels a certain way. There are many qualities that help to define our perception of a city including the scale of a place, the measure of a place, the use of material, the distance between an exterior and an interior condition and the making of a threshold. Located in Dublin’s Liberties, an old industrial and working class area, the project looks to make a distinct neighbourhood within itself, but also takes on and is informed by the situation as found. Special attention is paid to the city’s common ground- the streets, courts and passageways, making generous shared spaces with distinct spatial qualities and a sense of place. Urbanistically, the primary intention of the project is to make a new shared space for the neighbourhood that could somehow mark its centre and position it in dialogue with the nearby Oscar Square and as one amongst the city’s other residential squares. The shared space between the houses has been carefully considered to form an intense series of spaces that remember an older, dense city fabric in terms of their scale and dimension. Towards the edges, the proposal takes on the existing conditions and seeks to make a series of new collective spaces that could stitch the project into the city. The basic idea of the dwelling is based upon a memory from my childhood- that is to dwell around the hearth. The hearth and chimney act as a centre for the dwelling, forming the spine of the house, around which the different spaces of the dwelling are arranged. One could say that the ground floor of the dwelling is comprised of two main spaces. By working intensely with the idea of thresholds these two main spaces are teased apart by distance, furniture, decoration and subtle changes in level and material to form a more complex composition of intimate spaces within the larger volume.

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