Cathedral Quarter

Initiated by Dublin City Council, the Cathedral Quarter Framework Plan explored the urban potential of the seam of land lying on both sides of the medieval walls of Dublin around Werburgh Street and Christchurch Place. The project was about defining by architecture the 'difference' between the urban character of the ruined and diffuse sections of city 'inside' and 'outside' the walls. It also set about creating a new East-West presence along the walls, highlighting their buried and implicit nature (defined by levels and property lines as much as physical remains) and supporting an entirely new route around the city. The core proposal was a civic square at Ship Street and a route along the backlands from Werburgh Street to Ross Road. 

The project was extended to the historic but relatively characterless quarter around it. A search for urban 'recognition' and an enhancement radical in expression but founded on an informed understanding of its history and former character. The study defined natural focii - existing core spaces such as Christchurch Place and unmade ones like the site of the church of St Michael le Pole - which could be redefined and support new pedestrian linkages to the wider city. The twin poles were the city's two cathedrals. The project proposed significant adjustments to Christchurch Place with a pivotal building at the junction with Castle Street and a Museum of Dublin on a site North of the cathedral.