This studio will explore concepts of landscape and urbanism through a focus on shaping the future of Dunsink, a 1000 acre study area on the former outskirts of Dublin, Ireland.
This studio will explore concepts of landscape and urbanism through a focus on shaping the future of Dunsink, a 1000 acre study area on the former outskirts of Dublin, Ireland. Dunsink was the first municipal landfill of Dublin, and 230 acres of the area is covered by the landfill tiphead, which is currently being closed through an EPA license process. Despite enormous pressures related to real estate speculation and a booming housing market, the site appears to be a void with in the sprawling fabric of metropolitan Dublin, since it has been cut off from the NW development trajectory towards County Meath by large infrastructures, including the surrounding roadways M50/airport road to the west, Navan Road to the South, the Tolka River, the Royal Canal and the general stigma of the landfill. A new stop on the regional commuter rail is planned. The studio will assume that 20,000 units of housing will be sited within the study area.
The challenge of this project will be to invent hybrid architectural landscape and urban settlement patterns that work in tandem with an idea for the reclamation of the Mound. We will devise framework strategies and stage interim occupations for a prolonged and opportunistic recovery of this place as a working landscape, a place to live, and as a public works project in process.
For many designers across a range of disciplines and scales, landscape has emerged as a model for thinking about contemporary urbanism. This studio aims to test new scenarios of imagining, building, and occupying new urban forms relative to landscape thinking and to engage a large piece of territory in Ireland at the historical moment that the modes of economic production, cultural traditions, and urbanism are rapidly changing. Strategies of dispersal, open-endedness, emergence, concentration, porosity, edges, programming, and phasing, will need to be considered alongside concrete design interventions.
After joining the EU and introducing favorable business tax policies, Ireland has grown rapidly and has been coined ‘the Celtic Tiger’ due to resultant market growth, hi-tech industry, and high per capita incomes. Recently, population immigration overtook the historical trend of emigration and downtown Dublin now has a vibrant ‘Chinatown’ along with a high population of Brazilian, Polish and eastern European workers. This population is characterizing a newly cosmopolitan Dublin. It is anticipated that the development of the Dunsink zone would provide an opportunity for a new type of landscape & settlement pattern for these new modes of cultural production and new population demographic.
Travellers or the so-called Irish Gypsy population have informally settled on and near the landfill tiphead. While this population may have once derived some sort of economy from the garbage, the closure of the landfill area magnifies the criminalization of this already marginalized population.
Each individual designer or design team will be asked to develop a unique approach to contextualizing the landfill and district within city and region, and to propose an innovative spatial strategy for the 1000 acre site that responds to balancing global and local needs, sustainability, and intense development pressures. A series of exercises and explorations, including a landscape urbanism precedent study, a mapping exercise, and a programming exercise, will guide the design process through to final review. Students will be expected either singly or in small groups devise an overall site approach and to design in greater architectural detail one piece or layer relative to that approach. It is assumed that projects will engage an ecological process and address strategies and scenarios for social occupations, energy, waste, growth, recreation, and change.
Issues to research and explore:
- what shapes contemporary urban landscape form
- how to center / mark / make a place
- how to create new ecologies of use and disuse
- how to start / plant a seed
- how to sequence programming, culture, infrastructure, landscape, trunk lines, energy generation, sewer, wastewater etc.
- what are the methods for constructing a new urban landscape system? what are the various timeframes associated with the settlement of the site relative to infrastructure, landscape, built pattern ?
- how can dwelling form contribute to the future of cities and create a sustainable land-use pattern ?
- what is the full remediation process for the landfill leachate and other contaminants, and how would that be deployed or effect the resultant development pattern ?
- what are the various constructions associated with the settlement and remediation of the site and soil ?
- what are the physical parameters of the elements? size? scale?
- how is the new urban landscape powered ? where does it get its energy from ? does it generate energy ?
- how can water be used to recharge and shape an urban pattern ?
- what are the rules and codes that govern relationships and operations over time ?
- how does the place evolve through time ? what can be controlled ? what is indeterminate ?
A site visit is currently planned for March 6-9 2007. Students are encouraged to further explore Dublin and the Irish Countryside on their own over the duration of Spring break.
Itinerary: March 7th Dublin City Center, UCD, Liffey, Phoenix Park, Chinatown,
office visit, Bucholz | McEvoy Architects and/or Fingal County Council Offices
March 8th Grafton Architects office visit, meet Shelley, Conor, and group visit to the Mound
March 9th Team site reconnaissance – surrounding context w/guides
March 10-X City and Countryside – individual tours on own research path: Howth, Newgrange, Free Trade Zone, Aran Islands, Cork
In addition to studio critic Kate Orff the studio will benefit from the expertise and experience of Shelley MacNamara and Ger Carty of Grafton Architects, a firm that has been the recipient of numerous RIBA awards and was the recipient of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, Conor Skehan, a Planner based in Dublin, ecologist Dr. Steven Handel, PHD Rutgers, and Kelly Shannon, Associate Professor in KU Leuven and a writer on Housing and urbanism. Hui Teh as a teaching fellow will serve as an additional critic on Fridays.