A community sports center and playing fields in suburban Dublin

Project date


Project location

Dublin, Ireland


School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy


University College Dublin

An exploration of minimal intervention with focus on shelter and surface, this project encloses and conditions space only where necessary.  This can be experienced throughout the landscape of the site—from the open bus stop shelter on the street-front, to the sealed enclosure of the dance studios and on to the existing, natural tree canopy strategically linked with new interventions.  The language of the project is that of a lightweight, flexible canopy which rises and falls to bound and create space, sitting on a permanent surface that changes from hard to soft, large to small format as the sports and community programs demand.


A suburban island

Bordered to the East by Irish 1970's suburbia and on all other sides by industrial warehouses both used and disused, this park provided much needed connection to green space to local residents during daytime hours, but the lack of program and facilities led to it being under-utilised, especially after-hours. 


With a large street frontage, an extended bus shelter offers both refuge from the Irish climate and a continuous built edge to the park. This in turn wraps a public square and leads the visitor through to the main entry to the sports center, or allows them to slip through unnoticed to the parkland beyond.


Portal frame

The wood frame structure grows and dips in much the same way as the natural tree canopy around the park - accommodating both large assembly spaces, classrooms and administrative blocks.  



A large part of the project was concerned with activating the riverside path. With strong evidence of regular use by the homeless and/or local youths, this was acknowledged in the design rather than discouraged. Outdoor fireplaces and chimneys were introduced to encourage safe and controlled use of fire in the park.