AAI Site Visit to Printing House Square Student Accommodation in Trinity College Dublin - Sat 18th Jun 2022

AAI Site Visit to Printing House Square Student Accommodation in Trinity College Dublin - Sat 18th Jun 2022

The AAI Site Visit on Saturday 18th June 2022 will be to the Printing House Square Student Accommodation project in Trinity College Dublin. The meeting point will be at the new side entrance to campus on Pearse Street at 10:45am. Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

Printing House Square was Niall’s last project, and perhaps his finest. It sums up his view of making spaces within Trinity, of Trinity College in the city, and the amazing relationship of the 18th century city to the bay and the mountains. It is OF Dublin. In his own words, he makes a roof which is a mountain range under which people live together in nature in a range of different spaces, and also in a unique courtyard connected to all the other Trinity courtyards. He bends it around the Printing House. He makes a democratic connection between contemporary architecture and the tiny temple which is the Printing House and folds the building down around it to create an intimate context, a rocky landscape to be classical against. He makes a gateway to the city at Pearse Street, inviting people in, just as we did years ago in the Ussher Library, and connects the lot across the grid of Trinity to the steps of the Berkeley podium and the Ussher.

“If you stand back, Dublin’s most interesting point is that at the centre of it there’s a University. And that’s a very unusual thing in any city. It’s not a palace, it’s not a park, it’s a seat of learning, and that’s totally conscious; it was totally conscious in the ideas of the people who built and laid out the city – at the centre there would be something that represented civilisation and improvement. And Trinity is a grid of buildings surrounded by green surrounded by a wall which is surrounded by all this mass of streets which are bent and folded over in different shapes and lines, and all these bent streets and different buildings, they look in at this extraordinary rational grid in the middle of a green space which is their ideal. That’s unique, there’s nothing else like that.

We’ve been lucky enough to work in Trinity playing with that grid and in making buildings which deal with the edge of Trinity. We’ve made gateways, and at the moment we’re making one in Printing House Square off Pearse Street. It takes up a courtyard form. It sits behind the old Printing House, the 18th century Printing House, and so we’ve formed the roof almost like a mountain range or like a snapshot of a series of Georgian roofs with all those serried ranks. But essentially it’s a folding form like a baroque form, like an animal coiled around the courtyard that’s folded over and down and came down behind the Printing House…”

- Extract from – Aerial, a film made by Niall McCullough with Dyehouse Films for Open House Dublin 2020, Irish Architecture Foundation

Website Design and Development: WorkGroup