Ribbon Development - Ballybough Student Housing Sometimes a site and a brief give unexpected results. Ballybough is a dense and fascinating part of Dublin riven by railways and canals, streets full of unusual residential typologies, Croke Park rising behind every vista. The brief was to provide accommodation for 284 students along with cafe and ancillary services, and a landscaped courtyard.

The geometrically agile site for student housing on Ballybough Road was typical, surrounded by houses everywhere. It could be open to front and sides but had to be blind to the rere. So it evolved as a ribbon of rooms; its plan turned inside out, corridor at the edge and rooms inward-facing - focussed around a T-shaped internal courtyard social space with planting, bikes and seats. Both plan and section crank and fold around the internal collar of space. 284 students set in a Moebius carnival ride.

Unfortunately, the project is not going to be built in this form. 

—Ruth O'Herlihy

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