Schools of Architecture at University College Dublin & Queen’s University Belfast

University College Dublin School of Architecture

In UCD, year four students focused their work on researching the large site of the former Magdalene laundry on Sean McDermott street. The intention was to develop a comprehensive, considered and critical understanding of the site and its potential for development. For seven weeks students worked in groups with different thematic and methodological emphases: (i) model-making, or (ii) drawing or (iii) socio-historical research. The consulted with experts and experienced voices from many fields. Following the presentation and review of this work, the students begain to develop their responses to the site. Although somewhat circumscribed by lockdown measures, the process required each student to articulate an approach or a vision for the site.

You can view some of the University College Dublin architecture students’ work here.

Queen’s University Belfast School of Architecture

As part of the project a selection of QUB MArch 1 students developed architectural proposals for the site at Sean McDermott street.  For the group the question of how to act in such a complex and sensitive context was the primary challenge.  The students began their design by studying the social and physical archaeology of the place.  From this close reading of the ground each student went on to place a small structure on the site, intervening in the making of an addition to the existing fabric.  A new layer in its rich archaeology.  Building upon this nascent attitude each student developed a brief in response to the rich culture of the broader neighbourhood.  Together the proposals can be read as a collage that assembles a rich tapestry of old and new, past and possible futures.

You can view the students’ work here, on a dedicated website entitled ‘Collective Futures at Seán McDermott Street’.

Please also find an online Symposium with QUB students showcasing their design proposals here.