Prijsvraag Ministerie Dublin, Ierland
The benefit of the location is that it directly relates to the city of Dublin, as well as to a large green and open space, The Phoenix Park.
If an area is integrated in its surroundings, it will also tend to function well. This special location however, should be treated with extra attention :
The design is developed in a way that its appearance emphasizes the logic continuation of the current lay-out of the city, following the Infirmary and Conyngham road.
That this point in the city is a turning point, between a large mainly built-up area and a large mainly open area , is not marked on the corner by a volume but by its inverse: a simple cut-through : a slope leaving the continuity along Infirmary- and Conyngham road intact.
This way, the visitor will be drawn into the direction of the park by the open space. The end of the route through the building is a platform as a stepping stone towards the park.
The plan has two main levels :
The floor level, more private in character (8.50 m) on which the buildings and its users are connected.
The bridge level is more public and meant for use as a route to the park, or as a shortcut. This level is connected with the slope. Though walking through the middle of the complex, it is not directly possible to enter the buildings from this level (except for the public creche and the cafe/canteen).
The green slope forms the roof of the central hall connecting the most important representative functions. This roof also collect the rain which is stored up in the basement to be re-used.
Ité─˘s also used as a park, where the neighbourhood residents can make use of. The facades are designed to contribute to the energy-household of the complex. The southern facades are highly transparent to collect light and warmth within the building. The northern facades are designed as a inversion, and openings are reduced as to minimise the loss of warmth. Both the east and the west facades are related (opening-percentage) to their orientation as well as their place in the site.
The roof of the complex are meant to collect the rainwater, to be used for sprinkling the garden or flushing toilets.
The upper floor facades are designed as a system. The material of the facade consists of either natural grey (ley) stone panels (plates), or wooden frames for the windows. Depending on the need of light, transparent or opal glass will be used. The steel profiles (horizontals) create the possibility for fitting the materials. Together they create a diverse, yet rational rhythm in the appearance of the facades of the complex. the freedom in lines offers also an opportunity to relate the measurements of the facade, in scale, to the surroundings.