University College Dublin
The “University College Dublin” (UCD), which can trace its roots back to 1854, is Ireland’s biggest university. Since the early 1960s its faculties have relocated to its Belfield campus. UCD wanted a redevelopment of its campus called the Gateway Project in order to establish itself as a leading university. The goal was to create “a living environment for students, staff, visitors and the wider community” (UCD). In 2007 ingenhoven architects had been selected after an international competition among 62 firms from across the globe. “The creativity of the design from Christoph Ingenhoven’s team meets the vision we set out to create a precinct of modern beauty which blends with the natural landscape of the campus and surpasses environmental standards for energy usage” (UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady).
The “UCD Gateway” is a new type of campus that arranges existing and future buildings around a central green space. The eco-concept foresees a sustainable and car-free inner campus that is without any CO2 emissions or use of fossil fuels. The main three parallel rows of buildings will share a common curved roof which provides continuity and enclosure for the Plaza and atria. The masterplan provides the campus with an entrance from the national road N11 through the Gateway Plaza. The UCD Gateway provides classrooms, laboratories, galleries, offices, retail spaces, a cinema, restaurants and bars, an outdoor performance space as well as students’ residences and a hotel.
Characteristic of the new building is its curved roof, covering all parts and integrating photovoltaic and solar thermal systems as well as wind turbines and greenery. The Gateway Plaza comprises environmentally friendly, low energy buildings. The façades provide for insulation, natural ventilation and maximum daylight. The buildings will have efficient lighting systems and use solar and geothermal energy. The campus building would be 100% energy autonomous and help preserve natural resources. A storm water management system uses green roofs and wet landscapes to filter matters. Rainwater is used in the buildings’ greywater cycle. The green lung with new trees and landscaped parks enhances the microclimate on campus as well as inside buildings and helps with the cooling, humidity and retaining matters. The great timber roof construction allows for a high degree of prefabrication, ensuring short construction periods and high quality.