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Dublin One District to be Reimagined by Top US Architects

Published: Wednesday, March 01, 2017


A photograph of Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect and Richard Guiney, CEO DublinTown 

The renowned, American Institute of Architects (AIA) has teamed up with the Dublin City Architects’ Framework Project and DublinTown to create a shared vision for the future of the Dublin One district, which is squared by Capel St, Parnell St west, O’Connell St and the North Quays.

This is the very first time that the AIA’s design assistance team programme has conducted a project like this outside of North America. It is a huge honour to have Dublin City and the Dublin One district chosen as the focal point for this project and whether you live, work or socialise in the area, all stakeholders are being encouraged to become involved to help reimagine the area to its full potential. The initiative, entitled Reimagine Dublin One, has created a community steering group who will form part of a project that looks at the city’s north retail and residential area.

The purpose of The Reimagine Dublin One programme is to empower the community to improve their environment through an open, collaborative and systematic approach. It brings the public, policy makers, community and business leaders together to devise a vision and agree a framework for collective action and is delivered with the help of expert practitioners working on a voluntary basis.  The AIA have chosen Dublin over every other international location because of the huge potential that this area possesses.  The renowned warmth and charm of Dublin and its people, fondly held by the American people no doubt added to the attraction.

As part of the programme the specialised AIA team will visit Dublin One from March 9th to 13th 2017 where they will have the opportunity to engage with local stakeholders and members of the public, to devise a vision document for the area based on this extensive collaboration and consultation.

The most important aspect of the visit is a public consultation workshop, which will take place on the 10th of March at 6pm in The Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street. All members of the public are invited. This consultation will provide the attendees with the opportunity to engage with the team. The more attendees at this workshop, the more beneficial it will be to the Dublin One area and the city centre in general. To make sure that the American team truly get a vision of the area there will be a fun quiz on the night about how well you know Dublin One with some great spot rizes courtesy of Dublin One businesses. There will also be “The Humans of Dublin One” exhibition commissioned by DublinTown and created by renowned photographer Peter Varga.

The feedback received at this workshop will be crucial in the preparation of the AIA’s ‘Reimagine Dublin One’ final report, so anyone who has an interest in the future of the Dublin One area is encouraged to come along to the workshop on the 10th March.  Places are limited to this event so if you wish to attend please register at reimaginedublinone.ie to avoid disappointment.

Following the public workshop, the AIA team will present their findings and recommendations to The Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr on the 13th of March in The Gresham Hotel at 6pm, this event will also be open to the public.

Commenting on the project Joel Mills Senior Director at AIA said: “The American Institute of Architects is proud to partner with the City of Dublin and its citizens to reimagine Dublin One. Through the design assistance process, we hope to empower the citizens of Dublin to envision a future for Dublin One and begin building that future together.”

Richard Guiney (CEO, DublinTown) said: “We are delighted that the important work that has begun in Dublin One is being recognised by such a prestigious agency as the American Institute of Architects.  The work that they have undertaken in other locations and the results of those endeavours speak for themselves and we are sure that the report that they will provide for us in Dublin will yield valuable inputs combining both innovative ideas and best international thinking.  Dublin One is a key district in Dublin City Centre which has enormous potential to be a beacon of imaginative regeneration that is also sympathetic to its heritage.  We are confident that with the co-operation of its stakeholders the district will once again be a key vibrant European city destination.”

Ali Grehan (Dublin City Architect) commented: “Places often struggle because individuals and organisations are pulling in different directions and design solutions are imposed from above. The AIA design assistance programme brings these diverse people together at the earliest stage to agree the issues, prepare the process and implement lasting design solutions. The programme has a proven track record in delivering great outcomes for communities, which is why we’re collaborating with the AIA in introducing the programme to Dublin.


  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA) was established in 1857 and today boasts almost 90,000 members. They seek to empower architects and design professionals to do their best work and advocate for the value of architecture and good design. For more information regarding the American Institute of Architects and Design Assistance Team Programme please visit www.aia.org
  •  In 2016, DublinTown undertook research to establish why Dublin city’s south side exited recession sooner than the north side. The findings – lack of connectivity and permeability, poor public realm, perceptions of safety and general lack of awareness of what the area offered – led Dublin Town to initiate a programme to boost the northern quarter, called ‘Dublin One’. For more information regarding Dublin One see, www.dublin-one.ie and the Reimagine Dublin One project, please visit – www.wearedublintown.ie
  • Dublin City’s Architect’s Framework Project was inspired by Joel Mills, Director of the AIA’s Center for Communities by Design during a public speaking forum hosted by Dublin City Council. After hearing of his plan to share the programme internationally, the City Architect’s approached him about the possibility of piloting the programme in Dublin. Following discussions with DublinTown about Dublin One, Reimagine Dublin One was formed.For further information, please visit http://designframework.ie/

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