Frances Lynch

Bachelor of Architecture (June 2014), Waterford Institute of Technology

Urban Complexities

This is an urban renewal project in Waterford City in the South east of Ireland. I used an underlying theme in this project - Urban Mining, as a concept. The building boom in Ireland has left us with a phenomenal amount of empty, unused, derelict buildings and housing. The use of existing materials and structural elements drove my project, this is my answer to the Celtic Tiger disaster.

The existing site, has a lot to offer. I embraced existing positive urban elements, like local business’s, youth centres, and census data to drive my project. Using the existing is a large part of this project, not just through materiality, but existing architectural, and societal elements. In Europe planning authorities have developed a principle of having a public green space for recreation every 800m. Currently the nearest public park to the site is the Peoples Park, 1.5km away from the site.

My proposal eradicates 4 apartments. I justify this by the current number of empty derelict apartments on site. It celebrates the idea of entrance or threshold, provides private outdoor terraces and better day- lighting opportunities than the existing scheme. Materials and fixtures removed from the apartments are all re-used within the site design proposal.

The scheme also drives on the prospect of building upwards as needs be, yet abiding by the existing structural grid. We can learn a good deal from the mistakes of the Celtic Tiger.

The vaults at the rear of the residential block are home to a new restaurant, the entrance stepped back from the street. Atop this restaurant is a private roof terrace for residents, and this leads down to the private residents courtyard, where storage and laundry facilities are located.

Youth centre and the Kitchen of the Vaults Restaurant bring activity to the street at ground floor level.

The existing squash courts (accessed from Henry Downes Pub) have been moved so as to provide better day-lighting to the living spaces. I used the large wall necessary for a squash court as a climbing wall. This provides a nice activity for young people living in the area, as well as a visual connection between the inner courtyard an the street.

The larger public court- yard is a space for play and relaxation. Here there is a dog park, which extends the existing pet shop, dog groomers, and veterinary clinic into the public realm. This is known as triangulation - the pets provide a subject encouraging conversation between strangers in the public space.

In plan, each duplex family apartment has its own private terrace. The intention here is to encourage the extension of the dining space to the outdoors, and to make a visual connection with the street scape. The apartment plans are generous and include a double height space connecting the dining and living spaces, and celebrating daylighting.

Each Duplex family apartment also hugs a studio apartment, where elderly relatives, young professionals or students could live. The block to the east of the scheme is intended for students and young professionals. Bicycle parking is provided for on the residents roof terrace, and in the circulation spaces.

Leaving the circulation open means there is cross ventilation in every apartment, reducing energy demands on extractor fans etc.

Reusing the existing windows to create a feature on the street facade is just a small part of my efforts in urban mining.

The facades are clad with cedar and aluminium green wall as shown in the detail. Lichens and moss grows out through perforated aluminium sheets - so there is control over where and how heavy the plants grow. The growth medium within the wall is watered and fed from a horizontal pipe at the top of every panel. The plant feed drips down through the porifera (growth medium) reaching all planting. This cladding system is fixed to the existing concrete walls.