This design for a new Enterprise Hub envisages a dedicated space for young start-ups and growing businesses to cultivate ideas and foster creativity. The proposal responds to the surrounding context of Fumbally and presents a strong architectural set piece to activate the underutilised streetscape and to provide an inviting civic space for local enterprise. Currently, the site itself lies idle and constitutes a gaping hole in the urban fabric of the area. The design embodies a creative crossroads amidst a burgeoning landscape of start-ups and small young businesses, ultimately functioning as part of a long-term cohesive strategy to achieve better connections in the area. The design revolves around integration in both an architectural and symbolic sense. Aspects such as light, shadow, massing and volume have been carefully considered to avoid a domineering block. The result is a dynamic structure that gradually shifts back in a series of gradated terraces. The stepped bias prevents overshadowing and allows natural light to penetrate through to street level. This articulation is inverted on the opposite side, creating a cantilever over the plaza which helps to ground the structure and unite the space as whole. Further melding with the surrounds, the choice of materials – anodised aluminium – blends with the rust-tones of the vernacular redbrick terraces. The treatment of the façade maintains the privacy of the existing terraces and is devised so that no direct overlooking can occur. Rather than incorporating flat bands of fenestration, the horizontal levels are sculpted into a three-dimensional jagged edge. This allows the windows to be angled away from neighbouring buildings and enhances interior sunlight. Functioning as a civic space, the open-plan interior encourages interaction and aids the cross-pollination of enterprises and ideas. The selection of informal meeting areas, grouped seating, lecture spaces and meeting desks affords flexible usage and enables collaboration. The dynamic threads of the design facilitate and nurture the organic culture of start-ups and young firms in the area, making room for thinking, creativity and innovation.
Project: Fumbally Enterprise Hub
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Team: Urban Agency Architects
Status: Planning Permission Received