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ZAP Architecture reveals Dublin City University entrance scheme

[FIRST LOOK + PLANS + PROJECT DATA] London-based ZAP Architecture has revealed images of its completed competition-winning scheme for Dublin City University

The emerging practice’s scheme features a series of timber masts – the tallest standing at 16m – which create a ‘forest of verticals’ leading to the university’s entrance.

The scheme was completed in collaboration with Dublin’s COMMA Architects.

ZAP Architecture saw off competition from Dublin-based practice de Blacam and Meagher Architects and Maguire McBrien to bag the job in January 2013.

ZAP Architecture Dublin City University

The architect’s view

This timber sculpture celebrates the main entrance to DCU, creating an intriguing forest of verticals which graduate from humble beginnings to a taller (16m) and austere rigidness at the public threshold of the DCU campus on Collins Avenue. The scheme was inspired by the Irish proverb ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’ or ‘there is no strength without unity’. Each glu-lam post signifies the students and staff of DCU. The scheme is about place-making, about creating a striking and memorable visual identity for the university, both locally and around the world. The timber chosen was Accoya due to its natural aesthetic and sustainable properties. By significantly enhancing the durability and dimensional stability of fast growing, abundantly available wood species, Accoya wood satisfied the architect’s vision and also the environmental consciousness of the client. 

ZAP Architecture Dublin City University

Project data

Type of project entrance
Location Dublin, Ireland
Client Dublin City University
Architect ZAP Architecture
Delivery architects COMMA Architects, Dublin
Landscape ZAP Architecture
Structural engineer Hanley Pepper
Quantity surveyor Duffy Gaffney Partnership
Lighting consultant WINK Lighting
Main contractor McKeon Group
Completion date 2014
Total cost confidential

Previous story (AJ 11.01.13)

In pictures: Young outfit ZAP bags Dublin university job

London-based practice ZAP Architecture has won an RIAI-backed competition for a new entrance at Dublin City University

The emerging practice’s winning scheme was praised by competition judges for iits ‘exciting, memorable and timeless’ appearance.

ZAP’s scheme featured a series of glulam masts in a ‘loose arrangement of verticals’ which the judges claimed ‘symbolises the students, staff and graduates that constitute the university’.

In a statement, the practice said: ‘Ultimately our design is about place-making, about creating a striking and memorable visual identity for Dublin City University, both locally and around the world.

Second place went to Dublin-based de Blacam and Meagher Architects and third to Maguire McBrien.

David Flynn Architects, Taka Architects and Andrzej Toborek Architect were commended.

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