The Digital Hub is a competition winning masterplan prepared in collaboration with McCullough Mulvin Architects. The concept envisages a new city quarter for the 21st century located in the centre of Dublin city. The site was originally part of the Guinness Brewery before it was decommissioned and reimagined as a location for the research and development of digital technologies and for the creation of a new inner city community. It is a patchwork of fine industrial warehouses and vacant lots with a strong linear north south axis that fall steeply toward the banks of the river Liffey. It also houses the remains of one of the last windmill buildings in the city.
The proposal envisages a sustainable Digital Quarter comprising a network of new streets and memorable public spaces atop the implicate plan of its original architectural and industrial heritage. The idea is that people will work and live in an environment that sustains innovation whilst creating a strong identity that reaches outside it’s boundaries to embrace the surrounding inner city neighbourhoods. Its new urban spaces will guide the flow of people through the site and beyond to the wider city and will act as an engine for future regeneration of the inner city area in general.
The project proposes the construction of digital media labs, apartments, commercial offices and educational space within the quarter in a wide variety of striking architectural forms which are innovative and flexible in design yet having a strong contextual relationship with existing buildings retained on the site. The new buildings are linear in form and close grained in nature with a strong north, south axiality creating streets that are reminiscent of the traditional laneways and courts that once formed the character of the area. The intention is to describe a free-flowing thread of development reminiscent of strands of cable sliding and folding to make spaces and synergies between them. The buildings are highly sustainable in design and are intended as incubators and test beds for the latest reliable energy saving technologies. Copper cladding and asymmetric façade treatments reinforce the digital theme.