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Room to Manoeuvre

A civil ceremony venue in a constrained city center location

Project date


Project location

Dublin, Ireland


School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy


University College Dublin

Embracing the connection between procession and emotion, this building uses sensory experience along defined routes to amplify the experience of the user - be they a couple there to commit their lives together, guest or member of the local community filtering through to the hidden garden behind. The spatial limitations of the existing structures were embraced as parameters within which to explore how to exude delight from the banal using distilled views and dramatised light. 


Floor plates are pulled away from the façades so that spaces may connect both vertically and horizontally. As the individual embraces a new life connected to another, no ceremonial room is ever fully isolated.

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Not only views, but sounds and textures sooth or amplify the emotions of anticipation, excitement and joy as couples and their guests move through the building. Light is used to add rhythm to hallways, while deep finned columns control direction of sight to focus on the central courtyard with grounding tree and pond.

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Sublime from the banal

The existing structures on the site were not ones which would easily lend themselves to creating memorable ceremonial spaces. Instead, the existing interior partitions were manipulated to create a very different internal volume to what one would expect from the streetscape. A new extension accommodates waiting and preparation areas, wrapping a new courtyard facing the rear of the ceremonial building.

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