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Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

Brendan Feeney

We are part of the whole we are not just the whole. Our being here is really the most transitory aspects of the planet. It is trees, it is climate, it is the earth, the water, the rocks and the landscape which is real. When we fail to see ourselves belonging to and as part of that we become unreal. It is so much easier just to demolish and destroy it all, because it is in the nature of man to go ahead and demolish it, whereas, as far as I am concerned, it is our duty to act as custodians for one of the most remarkable landscapes. Glenn Murcutt, Touch this Earth Lightly

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BEGINNINGS Introduction Thinking A School of Thought Project 1 : Linen Hall Annex, DIT Critique Project 2 : The Urban Organic Yard Testing Ground: Selecting a suitable site Understanding Broombridge Investigation of Architecture & Groundwork Programme Critique POSITION PAPER Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land THESIS Prologue Concept Programme & Design Critique 1 Developing the structure through making Occupying the Scheme Critique 2 Programming the landscape Critique 3 Final Presentation Conclusion Bibliography Acknowledgements

Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land



Under Tomorrows Sky was an exhibition that explored the possibilities of a fictional future city. Young (2012) states that It is a city of extraordinary technology but at first glance appears indistinguishable from nature. It is an artificial reef that grows and decays and grows again as the city becomes a cyclic ecosystem. Of the many images of this city of tomorrow, Tomorrows World is the most evocative. A new city of immersion is presented to the viewer, a fresh urbanity where land and building environments cross-pollinate and the edges are blurred between the natural landscape and the organic manmade forms. Both a dense human population and a native topography and vegetation are evident in this incredible land of the future. A visceral idea of harmonic symbiosis is accomplished.

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THINKING THROUGH MAKING In an early attempt to clarify the architectural position of the thesis, an image based presentation was produced without successfully clarifying a concise and collected stance. It was felt that the strength of the oral presentation should be represented in model form in so that new thoughts and ideas might reveal themselves in the process. The models pictured are the end result of this study. A second presentation was drafted up to focus upon the educational aspiration of this thesis and to question the qualities that define the realm of education within the context of this thesis. Already ideas were emerging about the landscape, topography and engagement with local environment. It was felt at this point in the process that education occurred through two primary human instincts: those of skill imitation and user-specific adaption. This practice can also be understood as learning from and reacting to the active environment around us.

interwoven topography and building

the landscape as a natural framework for guided learning

cross-pollination of routes, ideas and people

opening and defining spatial edges

situation as abstract foundation

condensing the focus

the unknown horizon

environment filtration

creating space throun occupation

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We never educate directly, but indirectly by means of the environment. John Dewey Modelling the ideas of what it is that defines education, some traits of active learning and transfer emerged much more apparent and coherent than others. Two core fundamental elements of learning were strongly identified through this process those of imitation and adaptation. It is argued here that the initial stage of all early learning is through the process of imitation copying the movements and methods of others. To learn the basics of walking, talking, reading and writing is to learn how to imitate. Early childhood is spent repeating and replicating words, sounds, letters and movements in order to acquire these primary skills; the building blocks of communication and a means to further learning. In time, as acquired techniques are mastered and applied, an individual begins to evaluate and question these methods within the context of their needs and environment. This can sometimes result in altering aspects of a method and adapting the approach to best suit their requirements. This allows for the growth, development and possible abandonment of the practices that have gone before. These dual aspects of learning are most evident in any curriculum applied in the natural environment. Engaging with and learning from others and our surroundings is the foundation of mans schooling and the cornerstone from which all further learning emerges.

imitation of man

adaptation to a specific situation The education framework that defines this thesis is based on the idea that through engagement with our land and neighbours, we can collectively teach and learn from one another, improve our wellbeing via connection with the environment and through shaping and maintaining the land we can reap the rewards of self actualisation and fulfilment.

Above: Mountains Outside Mountains Inside -by Johan van der Keuken rethinking assembly rules Framing, connecting and understanding landscape through human behaviour

architecture adopting nature Ecstacity by Nigel Coates - A healthy city, or a city you want to be in, is always changing; its an organism Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 7


Concept Following the initial school of thought process, the proposed annex was conceived of as a new platform to engage with a man-made landscape in the dense urban environment of the city. The new structure was conceived of as bridging device, a new element that would bring together the natural and the built environments. This new unifying element was intended to fuse both the identities of the School of Architecture and the School of Construction within the existing building and merge both into a single identity that hinged around the annex. The project was envisioned as a new circulatory spine that would feed into various social and terraced landscapes on each of the floors. The structure was devised as a series of tiered verandas that could produce and supply food to the restaurant and cafs within both the Linen Hall and the Bolton Street buildings of DIT.

Site Plan NTS

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Site Location

Early 3D of Courtyard and Annex

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First Floor_not to scale

Second Floor_not to scale

Ground Floor_not to scale

Third Floor_not to scale Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 11

Section a-a_not to scale

Proposed Door Handle Detail_not to scale

Annex Circulation Spine

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Final 3D of Proposed Courtyard and Annex

Proposed Roof Allotments Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 13

Photos of model demonstrating the internal circulation core and terraced internal social zones and external landscaped zones

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Thesis: a creation of an artificial landscape, bringing a natural environment into the consciousness of the inner city, integrating building and topography and growing food at source. Antithesis: - Is there enough for the apple trees in the courtyard? The stairs are nice but not a testing point for your idea. - You seem to want to make a new typology. Be careful as guerrilla gardening can get dismissed as greening without a strong architecture. - After the wall fell in Berlin, lots of squatted land became farms and places of education. This happened in unused places of the city, where land was not in commercial demand. - Green city projects seem flabby because they ignore pressures inherent in the city. There are two ideas in the project but they are disconnected. - The architecture doesnt back up the idea of the allotments on the roof. The circulation should allow the two routes to happen the students and gardeners. You shouldnt have to go inside to get to the allotments. The architecture should support both environments. Synthesis: The focus shifts to one concerned with investigating the ground and education outside the commercial demands of the urban city core. How can the ground be maniplated archtecturally? The critique left many questions to be answered about how architecture can challenge the land strategy of the modern day city. How can a building adopt an attitude to the ground, what form can this take and what location is suitable for such a building within the urban grid?

3D Render of Annex

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The Linen Hall design had determined a strong interest in landscape within the city. Conflicting ideas regarding the natural landscape of the rural countryside versus the hard landscape of the urban yard are clearly reflected in the search for a suitable site for further exploration. Two sites of very different natures were chosen within Dublin for a closer investigation.

Site Location

Birds Eye View of Site

SITE #1 Bolands Mill, Grand Canal Dock This site is a self contained urban block within the south inner city. Note the internal street pattern and proximity to the Grand Canal. This site has access to open outdoor space, vacant large buildings and the water. From the uppermost floors of the store buildings, views to the Wicklow Mountains over the city and views to the water below create a sense of connection with nature and the world at large.

Site Plan_not to scale

View of Wicklow Moutains to the South Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

The city can be thus observed and engaged with through the site. page 17

SITE #2 Broombridge - Liffey Junction, Cabra This site is a wedge of undeveloped land in the northern suburbs of Dublin. Enclosed by industrial and residential estates, it has been all but forgotten by the city and its inhabitants. This location boasts 15 acres of open land and has direct access to a train station, the Royal Canal and an existing pedestrian and cycle path. The primary restraints within the site are the estates that define its edge. However, there is direct access to the suburbs that define the north of the city and an opportunity for further connection to the city at larger through the existing infrastructure that penetrates the site. Here, the remants of a rural topography and unoccupied territory provides an exciting opportunity for rethinking landscape within the city and its suburbs. Site Location

Aerial Photo of Site (site = green)

After much consideration, it was decided that the Broombridge Site provided a much richer opportunity for reconsidering the role of landscape within the city. It is argued that as it sits outside the land hungry demands of the urban core, this uninterrupted land can become a testing ground for the city of the future. Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 18


Broombridge is a suburban interchange, bordered to the north by Dublin Industrial Estate and to the south by the residential developments of the 1940s. The site is divided in two by the Royal Canal that runs through the land. This canal connects the land to the inner citys docklands and the mouth of the River Liffey. There has been no previous occupation on the Broombridge site save for a dismantled railway platform. It is primarilly a green field site that is locked between suburban estates and forgotten by the city. A train line also passes along the northern edge of the site and provides another connection to Connolly Station and Dublins city centre. Broombridge is a veritable wildscape that exists outside the consciousness of the city and its suburban hinterland.

Parks & Gardens in close proximity to Broombridge

Broombridge Rail Platform

Green Spaces & Urban Clusters in proximity of Broombridge Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

Site Grain page 19

Map of Building Uses Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 20

Map of Vacant (grey) & Food Related (green) Buildings

Indoor market that currently takes place in the Dublin Industiral Estate to the north of the site Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 21

Weekend Uses in the Dublin Industrial Estate Church services, the food market and driving classes dominant the estate during this time

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Topographical Map of Broombridge

Images demonstrating the various topographies of the area

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Redevelopment of Unimetal Site_ Dominique Perrault The objective of this project was to identify the assets and potentialities of the site and from this, to define what the future might hold. There was no desire for a new layout or a new town but rather a savage desire to connect and reconnect nature and architecture. The project attempts to give the varied locations within the site a defined identity and to establish an interplay between them and the surrounding town. Near the river, a planted avenue is placed alongside the town, a manmade natural boundary between the built and unbuilt. The valley the plateau and the ridge The flat plateau holds traces of former factory facilities and these are used as guides that help set up an interweave between countryside and the urbanisation of the town. At head of the valley, an old road that partially crossed the site is connected back to the town, reconnecting neighbourhoods at either end. Perraults methods here thread lightly through the site. He wishes to do that which is only essential. To gently re-establish identities and mark out a framework for the future.

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The Baths at Val_ Peter Zumthor Mountain, stone, water, building in stone, building into the mountain, building out of the mountain Zumthor has created a powerful connection between site and environment, land and building with the baths at Val. Partially sunken into the hillside, this spa complex is built of monolithic layered stone, sourced from a nearby quarry. Entering the baths is akin to entering the earth: visitors leave a cave-like reception and proceed down a dark hallway into the bowels of the earth. Everything about this structure emphasises its half buried nature the tactile stone walls, the reverberating acoustics bouncing off water and stone and the deep, narrow light openings that allow thin shafts of light to penetrate the bathing spaces below. The darkest spaces of all are those nearest the earth, the place where building and land merge into one. This project constantly reinforces the idea of building into the land, out of the land and using the land.

Above: The concept drawing depicting the earth breaking up and becoming the built programme. Left: plan and section of the Baths shows the project sitting into the land Right: The narrow shafts of light reinforce the idea of being submerged deep into the land. Below: The facade that projects out of the site frames the views of the area and connects views back to the local landscape and references.

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Bordeauxs Right Bank_Michel Desvigne The right bank of the Garonne River is hollowing out as the old industries of the area are closing up and relocating away from the centre of Bordeaux. Large tracts of vacant land are posing a real threat to the vitality of the city core and Desvigne is proposing a radical solution: a new city centre park. Bordeaux has few parks within the city walls so this proposal was welcomed by the city. A three stage successive planting programme has been drawn up based on the time it takes the city to buy back the various lots along the river bank. A forest of varied density and growth and will appear over time on the waters edge. This new landscape determines shapes of future building islands without setting down the contours in an absurdly strict manner. Building up the forest in stages, this land will bear the mark of time and change in the city. The landscape projects are a permanent construction site, allowing for change and acknowledging it. A stand of young trees is already the image of a possible future

Above & Left: The successive planting stages will create a varied density of trees at different stages of maturity; marking time and change in the city Above: The park plan provides a framework for future building patterns in the quarter

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Igualada Cemetery_Enric Miralles Built into an old quarry site, the Igualada Cemetery challenges the traditional notions of a burial place. From the entrance gate, visitors descend a winding processional route down into the earth, down to the main burial area at the opposite end of the site. The tiered concrete landscape unfolds into the natural landscape beyond and the gabion walls and embedded railroad ties echo the rough terrain of the surrounding hills. This sunken earthworks palette of earthy materials (concrete, stone and wood) blends the scheme into the land as though it were a natural part of the environment. Deep and silent, this burial site is a quite sanctuary of reflection, memories and connection. The use of local materials and the manipulation of the existing topography all come together to anchor this project firmly in its location. It feels as though this space has always existed here. This is a project that sits seamlessly in its context.

Above: The processional route leading to the main burial area Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 27

Model Exploration of Architecture & Groundwork

Archery Range, Barcelona_Enric Miralles This structure services the surface along its front, its placement and shape defined by the earthen embankment into which it sits. The structure emerges from the embankment and sinks back into the land further along its length. Its back wall acts as a retainer, holding back the land from the flat surface into which the building faces. The folding roof creates an almost linear edge in plan but from the ground this space reads as an undulating roof, a series of rhythmic spaces that move and morph along the border of the site. It is an exciting and dynamic strip of sheds and shelters. To fully explore the qualities of these roofs, I decided to create some model replicas of the structure in an attempt to learn more about their form and structural possibilities.

Site Plan Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

Conceptual models exploring possible roof arrangements

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Folding Roof

Archery roof sinking into embankment

Model exploring two different roof structural compositions

Conceptual model exploring possible arrangements of a series of roofs on an embankment in Broombridge Roof Structural Detail Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 29

Initial Brief_Stage One Following the investigation into architecture and the ground, it felt appropriate that any proposed programme for Broombridge should reflect this desire for contact with the ground. In bringing together the idea of groundworks and a landscape related brief, the author aspired to explore the possibility of open land in the suburbs and an architecture that could bridge landscape and city in a new and stimulating form. It was thus decided that the most suitable brief was an organic outdoor education centre. This centre was to offer the opportunity for physical activity and engagement with the immediate surrounds through exercises such as climbing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, skiing, zip lining, outdoor survival skills, surfing, free diving, swimming, first aid, water skiing, etc A second element of the brief was harvesting of the land for food and providing locally sourced and produced fruit and vegetables for the community. On site facilities such as Grow Your Own classes, a community vegetable project, organic cookery school and market space would encourage and stimulate physical interaction with the ground and her produce. Reflecting the earlier ethos discussed as part of the authors school of thought, these programmatic activities were drawn up to provide an opportunity for a hands-on manipulation of the landscape and an active engagement with the immediate surrounds. Final Brief_Stage Two Indoor Activity Centre Boat House Bike Workshop Hostel Gardening Workshop Cooking & Preserves Workshop Irish Soil & Geology Exhibition Media Room DIY Gardening Exhibition Space Retail Unit Reception Caf Library Public Yard/Market Space Seminar Space 3 x Classrooms/ Workshops Caf Exhibition/Rental Space Harvest Shop 3 x Store Rooms 4 x Offices 2 x Conference Rooms Reception

concept model of an urban man made ground

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Design Stage One

1. Library 2. Seminar Space 3. Classroom Workshop 4. Barn Store 5. Caf 6. Exhibition/Rental Space 7. Retail 8. Store 9. Office 10. Conference 11. Reception

11 10

1 4 9

Map Showing Access Routes to Building

7 6

Ground Floor Plan_not to scale

Structural 3D of Exhibition Space Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

Massing Model page 31

Section AA

Section BB


Section CC


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Design Stage Two

1. Activity Centre 2. Boat House 3. Bike Workshop 4. Hostel 5. Gardening Workshop 6. Cooking & Preserves Workshop 7. Irish Soil & Geology Exhibition 8. Media Room 9. DIY Gardening Showroom 10. Retail 11. Reception 12. Caf

Front Elevation 5 6

8 12 10 9 11 2

Section a-a

1 Ground Floor Plan

Rehabilitating Vacant Plots

Unlocking the unused land Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

Crop Rows along railway edge page 33

Land Strategy
The following pages present the ground strategy intended for design stage two of this project. Planting the land and harvesting its produce was a key component within the programme of the proposed building design. The Produce & Related Strutures 1. Apple & Pear Orchard With a North - South orientation these tress can achieve maximum sunlight penetration. Once the trees are fully mature after15 years they will bear an average of 120kg of fruit per season. *Trees shade the soil, providing a cooler surface which absorbs rainwater more easily. Their leaf litter changes the chemical properties of the soil as it provides nutrients that in turn enrich the land. 5. Crop Rows With an optimum orientation of East-West as required in Ireland, these crop rows provide a modest food supply to be sold to the local market. This in turn covers the maintenance costs incurred in growing and harvesting the crops as the majority of the work completed is part of the school cirriculum.

Conference Pear


Cairn Russet

Irish Peach Apple

Kerry Pippin

Ladys Finger

6. Allotments This small number of plots are available to the oublic who do not have access to a garden or who wish to grow vegetables outside of their property grounds. 7. Existing Water Tank

2. Grain and Fruit Barn Harvested crops stored here are kept at a cool, temperate environment out of direct sunlight. 3. Glasshouses These spaces enable the rgowing season to start in Decemember and protect seedling from the dangers of frost in the late Winter months. These glasshouses also house the more exotic foods that require a warmer climate Provides access to brown water for planting and cleaning needs within close proximity to the structure.

4. Walled Kitchen Garden This garden provided the foods for the neighbouring cookery school. As an existing walled property, it closely aligns an axis of NE-SW, which is the optimum orientation for maximum heat retention in Ireland.

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Site Strategy_not to scale Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 35


Thesis: The suburban landscape generates a programme that feeds and supports itself, creating a user intensive occupation of the land and a raison dtre for an open landscape within the area. Antithesis: - Why are there not more models? - Points of threshold between the city and space - Consider a critique of the proposed luas lines - Great site with a lot of good work done - Value the Industrial/Light Engineering tradition - What is your intention architecturally with the buildings? - The Garden City Movement is an important intellectual background - the Garden City Utopian ideas are relevant - The positioning of the buildings is critical they occupy planting space - Is there a contradiction in an urban yard and intensifying the suburban ground? - Perhaps the buildings can occupy and spread out and take ownership? - All agreed to take the site on for the thesis project.

Synthesis: Some quick decisions were made during the reviews as they were obvious issues that could be addressed directly. The proposed luas terminal that the council have planned for part of the site has not yet happened so this should not be considered as a current limitation within the land. The architectural intention of the design while still somewhere unclear, already demonstrates a certain regard for the industrial context. This needs further exploration in order to clarify how this language expresses itself in my design. Spreading the buildings out across the site would help take ownership of the landscape and is worth additional study. There is still some confusion about the thesis position with regards to an urban yard versus an intensive suburban ground. This project has developed a stronger desire to purse the qualities of the suburban landscape and so I feel at this point that this is the direction the thesis will take.

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Aim of the Research This photograph (right) was presented as one of a series of thoughts set out in September 2012 at the start of the thesis journey. Lingering and evocative, it is its black and white palette that every much defines a connection that would have been obscured in a coloured image. Drawn to this photo throughout the first semester, it was difficult to fully express in words what meaning was attached to it. The photograph followed alongside the initial stages of design and investigation and slowly its meaning became apparent. The primary focus of the image is the framed mountain beyond, removed and viewed from the snug bed of the photographer. A relationship between the distant landscape and the secure dwelling has been established. The light inside directs the gaze onto the peaks and valleys in the bed clothes, a micro landscape, shaped and formed by the viewer in bed. A connection forms in the mind. Mountains inside, mountains outside; the man-made mountains mimic the landscape outside, but they are produced solely by the movements of the occupier of the bed. There is another underlying theme in this image the notion of disconnection. The fact that the camera is viewing the landscape through a frame outside of its own suggests a separation and disengagement from the land beyond the realm of mans constructed reality. This thesis therefore aims to investigate mans adaptation of landscape within the realm of greatest disconnection the city.
Above: Fig 2: Mountains Inside, Mountains Outside

Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

Introduction It is a city of extraordinary technology but at first glance appears indistinguishable from nature. It is an artificial reef that grows and decays and grows again as the city becomes a cyclic ecosystem. A city as a geological formation of caves and grottos covered by a thick layer of soil and slime, a biological soup of human and non-human inhabitants. The city and us are one, a symbiotic life form. Liam Young of Tomorrows Thoughts Today assembled a think tank of scientists, technologists, futurists, illustrators, science fiction authors and special effects artists to collectively develop this imaginary place, the city of Tomorrow. Across the course of the exhibition invited guests work with the city as a stage set to develop a collection of narratives, films and illustrations. The exhibition invites you to wander through this near future world and explore the possibilities and consequences of todays emerging biological and technological research. The exhibition opened for Dutch design week on October 20th, 2012 and inviting images were posted online in the months preceding the opening. The image that defines this exhibition is the computer generated illustration of the city at dusk. Here, the future city is conceived of as both an organic and technological construct, an artificial reality and yet one in sync with its environment and landscape. The dense city rises vertically among the rocky outcrops of its environs, responding to the intensive demands on the ground below and yet still accommodates the needs and inhabitants of this extraordinary place. There is a strong sense of transience in this city; the organic constructions appear sufficient as shelters yet exceedingly temporary, as though likely to become vacant at any moment. And should the citizens vacate the city overnight there is the impression that this place would quickly wither and fade, disappearing back into the surrounds from which it emerged. There is a certain attitude toward the topography of the land also. Gone is the present day approach cutting into the ground, clearing the way for construction and blasting out those rocky outcrops for a simpler and more accessible cityscape. Respect for the geography of place and a concept of touching lightly upon the ground that hosts the city is robustly evident here. The future city is one of intensive symbioses, respect and a strong regard for the natural environment.
Right: Fig 1: Under Tomorrows Sky

Context of the Research Born and raised in rural north-east Galway, issues of land utility and productive treatment of the ground have always been foremost in the mind of the author. Living between two quarries for all of his childhood, there is a strong appreciation that land is seen only as infinite commodity by those who exploit her resources. Rural planning policies or lack thereof, the trend toward ribbon housing and adhoc celtic tiger ballooning of small rural villages all confirm an attitude of disregard and planning ignorance when it comes to issues of appropiate levels of intensive land use. A strong desire to present an alternative view of land use, production intensity and occupation density all combine to drive this research forward.

Methodology Evidence of these types of productive landscapes is the main source by which this exploration is conducted. Starting with the initial image of Mountains Outside, Mountain Inside, being an expansion of the ideas of landscape outlined in Under Tomorrows Sky, a further exploration is made through investigation of other projects and sites of a similar condition. 1. Nature Park, Sudgelande, Berlin Fifty years of natural succession have converted a derelict station at the centre of Berlin into an extremely diverse pocket of natural landscape within the city. The nature park Sudgelande is situated on part of a formerly much larger freight railway yard that was built at the end of the 19th Century. After World War II the train service was discontinued and the Sudgelande was chiefly abandoned. On most of the site, natural succession began to take hold.
Fig 3 Sudgelande Nature Park

fauna. As a result of this, the idea of putting a shunting station on the land was scrapped. The nature park was not established for some time however as again the history of Berlin had a role to play. After the reunification of Germany, the German railway company finally transferred ownership of the site to the state in 1996 as ecological compensation. Ecological compensation is a system in Germany whereby any unavoidable negative effects developments have on the environment must be offset by the implementation of nature conservation and landscape management. The park was finally opened in May 2000. With regards to strategies and landscape management on site, the nature park had to address two challenges from the beginning: how to open the site without endangering the rich flora and fauna present and how to decide if the natural vegetation dynamic should be managed or not. Results of two previous vegetation studies demonstrated that in a 10 year period the percentage of woodland had doubled. Ongoing succession would have resulted in the compete reforestation of the site in a short period of time. Therefore a decision was made to combine both natural dynamics and controlled processes to ensure a rich variety of vegetation remained on the land. The following three principles were adopted as the guiding framework for the parks development: 1. The land was zoned into three space typologies: clearings, groves (lightly forested) and woodlands. 2. A path system within the park was developed based on the structure of the old rail yard and followed the routes of some of the old train tracks. 3. Natural and cultural elements were persevered were possible. This included such features as railway signals, watercranes, the old turntable and a water tower.

This project demonstrates the possibilities of designing wilderness and making it accessible to the public. Contrasting nature with fabricated elements highlights both nature and culture. Compared with other large parks that turn their backs on the city, the Nature Park Sudgelande is closely connected to the city, a natural urban phenomenon.
Below: Figs 4 & 5 Sudgelande Nature Park.

The political situation in Berlin after the war resulted in the Sudgelande falling under the jurisdiction of East Berlin authorities even though the rail yard was located in West Berlin. The site was also surrounded by a guarded fence and heavily used roads so that the land was almost completely inaccessible to the local city dwellers. Consequently, the site became completely disconnected from the city which allowed for uninterrupted growth and ecological development. At the end of the 1970s, the site came to the attention of the city once more when the authorities wanted to reestablish a shunting station on the land. Pressure was put on the government by local citizens groups who wanted the site to become a nature park and an ecological assessment was carried out on the area. Sudgelande was shown to be one of the most valuable ecological areas in the city because of its immense diversity of flora and

Below: Fig 6 Sudgelande Aerial Photo

2. Havanna, Cuba With a population of 11.22 million inhabitants, 75% of which live in cities, Cubas agriculture and foods supply were heavily dependent on imports in the 1980s. These dependencies were such that the nation imported 100% of its wheat, 90% of its beans and 57% of all calories consumed. The collapse of the Eastern Europe block in the early 1990s with which Cuba had conducted 80% of its trade resulted in massive economic turmoil. At the same time, the strengthening of the US economic, financial and political sanctions combined with the aforementioned collapse severely affected food supply within Cuba. It is estimated that there was a 67% reduction of food availability in 1994. The major challenge was how to generate effective mechanisms to meet food needs within the country. Many governmental, trade and market reforms were put in place and a National Alternative Agricultural Model (NAAM) was put in effect in 1990. One important aspect of this model was the replacement of high levels of imported agricultural inputs with indigenously developed methods for pest and disease control, soil fertility and other issues. Other features of this model included the restructuring of the land property of large state-owned farms into smaller units with co-operative property and the introduction of a free market for foodstuffs. The crisis had generated the immediate individual response of many groups and citizens to start growing vegetables and in parallel encouragement was given by the city government to other inhabitants and co-operatives in urban areas to also become vegetable producers. Exploitation of the open spaces within the urban frame and available areas within productive, educational, recreational and healthcare facilities were all used for the production of food. Vegetables were even planted in the front of the Ministry of Agriculture and in the backyard of the state council building. A massive breeding of pigs in these areas was illegally extended to central urban areas including houses and flats. An important feature in Cubas ability to rapidly respond with an alternative model has been its success in mobilising science and technology and the social investment in education. Many of the new technologies had been actively researched for a decade or so in Cuba before the circumstances arose that made their implementation necessary. There are strong links here between research and organisations and consequently a very short time delay between research innovation and application of research results. In Cuba today urban agriculture is seen as a way to bring producers and consumers closer together in order to achieve a steady supply of fresh, healthy, and varied products directly from the production site to the consumers. The advantage of the dense urban population is that agriculture is intensively implemented to maximise the productive potential of the land within each territory. Diversification of crops and animals guarantees a phased performance all year round. Havanas organic urban agriculture is extraordinarily successful, such that fresh produce offered at the farm gate is cheaper than that brought from the countryside into citys markets. While the focus of urban agriculture outside of Havana has been the creation of jobs, in the city itself its primary function is in the reduction in prices for food related products. The most recent master plan for Havana now covers urban agriculture as a permanent urban function of the city. High school students even have the option to study urban agriculture as part of their curriculum if they so wish. Today urban agriculture is now a way of life in Havana, it has become integrated into every facet of urban life in the city.

Top R-L: Figs 7 & 8 Havanas Urban Agriculture Bottom Left: Fig 9 Vegetable Plots Bottom Right: Fig 10 Cultivating the Lan

Productive Landscape in the City Productive landscape is defined as an open urban space planted and managed in such a way as to be environmentally and economically productive, for example, providing food from urban agriculture, pollution absorption, the cooling effect of trees or increased biodiversity from wildlife corridors. (Viljoen, 2005) It is important to note here that the term urban is used in this paper as an umbrella term for the city in its entirety, including both the urban centre and its suburban fringes. Authors such as Borcke (2002) make a strong argument for value of landscape in the city, an idea that the presence of nature is not just to make places look greener but also to influence the form of city development. There is one fundamental ideal within the authors work however that jars with the focus of this paper. Borcke puts forward the notion that the man-made city is added to the natural environment and should respond to the land rather than the other way around. She envisions the city and natural landscape as an integrated system of green spaces and development with an uninterrupted natural topography as its base.

Parc de la Villette - OMA Competition Entry The Parc de la Villette site was the typical metropolitan condition of Europe: a large tract of vacant land sandwiched between the historical city and the individual cells of suburbia. It was a cleared space of emptiness with infinite potential. In the competition entry, the architects were free to propose a whole new quarter, a fragment of the new city of the future. Offered the opportunity to imagine an ideal instalment of late 20th century life, OMAs proposed project is not for a definitive park but for a method that - combining programmatic instability with architectural specificity - would eventually generate a park. OMA found it difficult to reconcile architecture and landscape within the context of the city and this was reflected in statements such as The permanence of even the most frivolous item of architecture and the instability of the metropolis are incompatible. In this conflicted sates, OMA reasoned that the city is always the winner as architecture is reduced to the status of throwaway structure. What OMA finally suggested for the park was the intensive use of the landscape: density without architecture, a culture of invisible congestion.

Fig 14 Landscape as Ground Diagram

OMA decided that La Villette could be more radical by suppressing the three-dimensional aspect almost completely and proposing pure program instead, unencumbered by any containment. In this analogy, the bands across the site were like the floors of a building, each program different and autonomous, but modified and affected through the proximity of all others. Their order was somewhat insecure as the only stability offered was by the natural elements such as the rows of trees and the round forest; and the instability of these was ensured simply through growth. Their proposal comprised of five primary moves: 1. The programmatic elements are distributed in horizontal bands across the site, allowing for a continuous identity in its length and rapid change in experience across the bands. 2. Some facilities - kiosks, playgrounds, barbecue spots, etc are located mathematically according to different point grids. 3. The addition of a round forest as an architectural feature. 4. Connections 5. Superimpositions

Borckes idea has over-simplified the relationship between man, the city and the natural environment. As the city is a man-made construct, it responds first to the needs of man before the needs or sensitivities of the local topography. The docklands of Dublin is a perfect example of this. Since the 17th century the city has encroached ever more toward the waters edge using the land hungry technologies of setting revetments and backfilling which allowed for the reclaiming of land from both the Irish Sea and the River Liffey (McCullough, 2007). The river bank today is delineated by a series of man-made quays that define the rivers edge, a clear demonstration of the commercial needs of man superseding any concern for the once natural topographical junction of land and water. Indeed, in many cities, to simply adopt such a landscape attitude would be impossible as all remnants of the past topography and natural environs have all but vanished completely. Besides, as more and more rural landscape is cultivated by man and primarily used for the sole purpose of supplying urban markets (Viljoen, 2005), the availability of a truly natural and untouched environment rapidly diminishes. In todays reality, it is time to investigate the value of an artificial naturalness a managed landscape

Above: Figs 11, 12 & 13 OMAs Competition Entry for Parc de la Villette.

that brings with it all the values and traits of the natural terrain but within the conditions and demands of man. For many people, landscape in the city is conceived of as green spaces and parklands, beautiful and open spaces but ultimately underused and unoccupied. This is difficult to resolve and protect within the demands of the land hungry city; the question often becomes one of open space versus construction intensive occupation. Certainly building on the land provides a greater return for man the open plot is now occupied and utilised far more rigorously than it would have done as an often vacant green space. But there is an alternative and third option that is rarely considered: that of landscape intensification. Landscape intensification can be defined as the layering of inter-dependent and co-existing plant and animal life to maximise the lands potential. This idea was clearly demonstrated in OMAs proposal for the Parc de la Villette with its bands of activity and varied use across the site in Paris. This layering can incorporate economic, social, environmental and agricultural uses which would encourage a concentrated and thorough use of the soil and add value to the land that far outweighs the concept of the empty green belt or parklands of the city as we understand them today. It is also worth noting that a plot can be intensified along both horizontal and vertical planes. Horizontal intensification being the most common option in the past and present, allows for the layering of various uses across the land as described previously. Vertical intensification on the other hand can be achieved by the construction of a building or series of platforms on-site, allowing more space for agricultural, vegetation or social use.

Testing the Theory The opportunity to explore the design of an intervention for the newly formed Dublin School of Architecture and Construction provided an occasion to explore the thoughts and case studies previously covered in this paper. The brief called for an installation that could provide a new single identity for what is at present two physically divided schools located in Linen Hall, a building owned and occupied by Dublin Institute of Technology and located at the end of Yarnhall Street. Externally, the stacked annex housed a tiered landscape that ascended from the planted courtyard to the allotment gardens on the flat roof of the existing school. This new landscape was created with the intention of supplying herbs and vegetables for the school canteen while the roof allotments were to be shared with the residents of the social housing block that sits adjacent to the grounds of the Linen Hall. The annex was envisioned as a crossover space between nearby residents, students and tutors; a communal hub of investigation, communication and cultivation. After much discussion and reflection, it was agreed that while this early intervention held promise for a productive landscape within the city, this site was simply not suitable to fully explore the extent and possibilities of this thesis. Strong commercial demands within the urban centre of Dublin meant that the city centre would no doubt prove itself a difficult canvas on which to apply any significant landscape moves. Furthermore, the scale at which such a move would be made could not realistically be accommodated within the already development intense core of the city. Linen Halls proposed annex was viewed more as an act of guerrilla gardening than a productive landscape and therefore it was essential to explore the extended city for a stronger staring point from which to test the thesis subject.

Section of Annex showing tiered planted terraces

The proposal put forward was an early attempt to explore the possibility of productive landscape in the city centre and also to address the physical division within the building. The annex design that was submitted embodied both of these ideas and aimed to instil a new raison dtre for the Linen Hall building. The annex accommodated a new central stair core with social spaces that were stacked vertically upwards along the spine of this circulation core. This relocation of existing services freed up space on the ground floor of the existing building which allowed for the creation of a communal gathering space with exhibition, social and lecturing uses.

Right: Image of proposed courtyard Below: Internal 3D of new circulation core

Fig 15 OMAs Competition Entry for Parc de la Villette.

Proposed Allotments on Roof of Existing Building

Photograph of Broombridge Sign on Train Platform

Broombridge Site

Intensifying Suburbia The move away from the Dublins urban core allowed for a wider frame of thought and an opportunity to consider the implications of landscape within the citys suburbs. Here, in the outer reaches of the city, the idea of city living and value of the land become distorted through the lens of what Le Corbusier termed a sterile isolation of the individual (Viljoen, 2005). The suburbs propagate the great illusion of the individual home away from the collective intensity of the city core. This focus on the individual in the suburbs marks the dilution in city density as low lying housing, industrial and business estates scatter outward into the open hinterland of the citys fringes. This sprawl is the anti-thesis of the city, an act of de-urbanisation and a dislocation from both the city and the countryside. It is a place neither within nor outside the dense urban realm. In the coming decades, the city is likely to see population surge and city sprawl can only grow so far before it consumes the land that feeds it. There exists a symbiotic balance between urban and agricultural land that needs to be upheld for the survival of the city and its inhabitants. This provides a strong argument now to intensify the land use of suburbia, to introduce the density and variety of the urban core and to demand more production and value from the lands that we so willingly build upon and then forget. Choosing a site for further study proved quite a challenge as the location had to provide opportunity for renewal without the need of removing any existing development or infrastructure within the immediate environs. Like the urban agriculture model in Cuba, it was essential that any landscape intervention would have to occur in an existing open space in the citys suburbs. Ultimately a site of 15 deemed particularly suitable for such an investigation. This site bordered the area of Broombridge in North Cabra, one of the older suburban estates in the city (OS Map, 1944).

The Broombridge site is a suburban interchange, bordered to the north by Dublin Industrial Estate and to the south by the residential developments of the 1940s; it has a condition reminiscent of the site for the Parc de la Villette in Paris. Like the canals of La Villette, Broombridge also has a canal that runs through the site and splits it in two. This canal (the Royal Canal) connects the land back to the inner citys docklands. There has been no previous occupation on the Broombridge site except for a dismantled railway platform. It is a green field site that is land locked between developments and forgotten by the city in much the same manner as the Sudgelande site was in Berlin. A train line also passes along the northern edge of the site and provides another connection to Connolly Station and Dublins city centre. Some small scale urban agriculture occurs here already as locals have managed to gain access to the fenced off land and are grazing a small number of horses on the grasslands at present. In comparing the earlier case studies discussed, a pattern of comparable approaches and attitudes emerge. All three typologies adopt an idea of thorough and extensive land use, from the intensive urban agriculture of Havana, to the managed forest densities of Sudgelande and even the programmatically dense proposals for the Parc de la Villette. It seems that a rigorous use of landscape and programme produces richness within the city that can be achieved beyond the realm of construction and development. There is a collective idea of the importance of the ground and the many functions and uses it can sustain. Applying such an approach to the land at Broombridge would no doubt produce an exciting programme and an intensively used site beyond anything that the suburb currently yields. These case studies also share another key quality of interest: an immediacy of connection within the city. The Sudgelande Park with its wide ecological variety is a veritable zoo of flora and fauna on the doorstep of the centre of Berlin while the easy access to food markets, open space and research in Havana ensured the early success of urban agriculture in the city. OMAs proposals focused on the notion of varied programmes that lay in close proximity to each other, encouraging cross-pollination and multiplicity within the city park. All three projects act as a guiding light for a programme at Broombridge, a communal landscape that will enable new opportunities, connections and the convenience of the land in the suburbs.

Site Location within the City

Reflection As discussed by Flanagan (2012), in the times before industrialisation the city walls defined the boundary between urban and rural - the city remained directly related to what it ingested and so man and earth had a dependence on each other and an conscious awareness of their symbiotic relationship. The city cannot survive without the agricultural hinterland that supports and feeds it. Intensifying suburban land has an undeniable validity today if the city is to re-evaluate its relationship with the land. Rather than the endless development and consumption of ground on the urban fringes, the city must consider the possibilities of densifying its suburban land use if the metropolis is to remain sustainable. Intensifying the land can be achieved without the density of architecture as confirmed by OMA in their proposition for the Parc de la Villette. The earth and her soil is in finite supply, yet this has been forgotten in the frenzied growth of the recent past. An intense cultivation of the land is a call for a collective consciousness and a balanced value system with regards to the future co-dependency of city and land. As argued by Desvigne (2009), this attitude to the land does not include a fascination with todays prevailing subject of sustainable development and it is not a response to the general panic over the need to save the planet. This paper is a focus on the reality of resources within the city, its finite supply and how we can move forward with respect and consideration for that which sustains us. This study wishes to pursue the importance of land intensification and agricultural patterns in generating a productive landscape for the future city. The negotiation of architecture and landscape with regard to the conflict between agriculture and suburban culture are important questions to be addressed. Sustainability and cultivation will be interrogated through the lens of suburban disconnection and segregation with respect to generating an architecture that can affirm the potential of the land and the city. Architecture is a product of mans manipulations of his environment; a frame through which he perceives and understands the world at large. We have shaped and constructed our man-made world, now we must strive to sustain and maintain it.

Fig 16 Allegory of Good Government.

Bibliography Basdevant, M et al (2009) Intermediate Natures - The Landscapes of Michel Desvigne Berlin: Birkhuser Verlag AG Flanagan, A. (2012) The performing wall : Derryarkin linen mill Architecture Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology Jorgensen A, & Keenan, R (2012). Urban Wildscapes. Abingdon: Routledge. P.152-159 OMA Architects (1982) Parc de la Villette, France, Paris, 1982. Available at: McCullough, N (2007). Dublin An Urban History. 2nd ed. Dublin: Anne Street Press. p41. Viljoen, A (2005). Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes. Burlington, Massachusetts: Architectural Press. p4-131 & p135-145

Image Sources Fig 1 - Under Tomorrows Sky. Available from: http:// Fig 2 Mountains Outside, Mountains Inside. Available from: http:// mountains_inside Fig 3 Sudgelande Nature Park. Available from: http://www. Figs 4 & 5 Sudgelande Nature Park. Available from: http:// Fig 6 Sudgelande Aerial Photo. Available from: com Figs 7 & 8 Havanas Urban Agriculture. Available from: http://

Further Reading Chittenden, M, 2009, Lettuce Reign Over You, The Sunday Times, 14 June. Available from article173199.ece Lettuce Reign Over You [14 June 2009] Dewey, J (1916). Democracy and Education. Boston: IndyPublish Glancey, J (1999). Nigel Coates : body buildings and city scapes. London: Thames & Hudson Hardingham, S & Rattenbury, K (2012). Supercrit #4 Bernard Tschumi Parc de la Villette. Abingdon: Routledge llich, I (1971). Deschooling Society. London: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd. Nolan, B (2006) Phoenix Park: A History and Guidebook. Dublin: The Liffey Press Ranciere, J (1991). The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation. Stanford. Stanford University Press. Thomas, R (2003).Sustainable Urban Design An Environmental Approach. Abingdon: Spon Press Woods, L (1997). Radical Reconstruction. New York: Princeton Architectural Press Zabalbeascoa, A (1996). Igualada Cemetery Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos. London: Phaidon Press Ltd

Fig 9 Havanas Urban Agriculture. Available from: http:// Fig 10 Havanas Urban Agriculture. Available from: http://inhabitat. com/urban-farming-movement-sweeps-across-havana-cubaproviding-50-of-fresh-food/havanaurbanfarm/ Figs 11, 12 & 13 OMAs Competition Entry for Parc de la Villette. Available from: Fig 14 Landscape as ground. Available from: Sustainable Urban Design An Environmental Approach. (p.33) Fig 15 OMAs Competition Entry for Parc de la Villette. Available from: Fig 16 Allegory of Good Government. Available from: http://



Architecture is bound to situation, the site of a building is more than a mere ingredient in its conception. It is its physical and metaphysical foundation. Steven Holl, Anchoring Urban wildscape both as a term and landscape condition can potentially appropriateany area, space, or building where the citys normal forces of control have not shaped how we perceive, use and occupy them. Dougal Sheridan, Urban Wildscapes

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If on arriving at Trude I had not read the citys name written in big letters, I would have thought I was landing at the same airport from which I had taken off. The suburbs they drove me through were no different from the others, with the same little greenish and yellowish houses. Following the same signs we swung around the same flower beds in the same squares. The downtown streets displayed goods, packages, signs that had not changed at all Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

There is a sameness about suburbia that dulls the senses and disorientates the mind. They lack the variety of the rural countryside. The low hills and hollows, the rush-filled swamp, the cluster of firs, the lonely oak tree in the meadow or the ringfort that sits guarded by the hawthorn bushes. The smell of wild flowers, the varied textures of the grasses, the grainy touch of a tree bark; all of these things speak of a place, a location, a belonging. The suburbs knows none of this.

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A building has one site. In this one situation, its intentions are collected Steven Holl, Anchoring (1991)

We come to see the world around us in our own terms, through our own interventions. Pattern, form and ideas are taken from our natural environment and used to alter our reality. We have imitated and adapted the world so much that what is real, untouched and natural is no longer clear to us all. Earlier design work has thrown up questions about the need to building on the land and how to appropriately occupy the ground. A new approach is needed. The built programme is conceived of as a new stratum that responds to and respects the land that supports it. The concept is a floating series of spaces, an occupied roof, a counter landscape.

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The concept for the school plan is a series of boxes that define spaces and voids within the building. These boxes serve the more intimate needs of the brief while their order and arrangement define the more open and public spaces within. The floor plate is an important element in this idea also. Between the boxes, the floor moves up and down, defining the use of space and the land underneath. The floor light meets the land at one point of contact and allows entry here into internal programme of the building above. In places, the floor disappears completely and voids are created within the plan. These voids pierce up through the structure, up to the sky above. They allow penetration of the elements down through the building, down to the landscape below. Wind, rain and sun all pass through the structure and kiss the land underneath. The concept can thus be described as a series of boxes and void that sit on an undulating floor plane.

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Expo 2000 Pavilion_ MVRDV Expo 2000 was the first World Expo in Germany under the motto of Man, nature and technology. This fascinating structure examines six different ways of being of the landscape and how man might shape his environment to suit his needs in the future. The exciting space here is the forested landscape, the very idea that a real forest could grow and thrive under a raised building is a fantastic proposal and feeds into my earlier concept sketches.


Villa Vpro_ MVRDV The interest with this typology was the geological form of the floor, the creation of an artificial landscape and the reconciliation between an artifical landscape and built programme. Greenery that existed where the building now stands is replaced by a raised grass covered roof under which lies a stratified series of different floors. Conceptually, it seem that this building is an extruded piece of earth.

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Metropol Parasol This mushroom-like structure is located in the city of Seville, Spain. It has an approximate height of 26 metre and towers over the central market space on ground level. The worlds largest wooden structure, the roofscape can be accessed by the public and acts as a viewing platform over the city. The appeal of this structure is that it acts as a marker in the landscape, a building of clear civic use and intention. The occupied roof gives the building somewhat sculptural presence in the city and lacks the heavy footprint of a more conventional market hall. Furthermore, the open nature of the ground levels allows the natural elements to penetrate the site but still provided sufficient shelter in times of poor weather. This building is very much in tune with my concept set out previously. Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 53

Agadir, OMA This building can be read as two parts a roof and a landscape. A convention centre located on the beachfront, it is a generated landscape that runs underneath with its concave and convex domes, the forest of columns and its shafts of light. The floor and the ceiling of the veranda are formed by concrete shells, using the sand dunes as a concept for the formwork. The upper shell is supported by columns, which are different in height, thickness, and spacing. The locally sourced stone that adorns the faade gives the building a rock-like appearance and connects it back to the land and its context. This structure reflects many ideas that cross over with my thesis concept. Again, the idea of a building that sits above the land and allows movement through the landscape underneath. The difference here is that there is programme that occurs underneath this landscape and pierces through the artificial land. I feel that this clashes with the thoughts I have of my buildings relationship to the land and what the natural landscape can offer.

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The Organic School GROUND FLOOR Market Space FIRST FLOOR Reception Caf Library Study Room Reading Room Garden Workshops Cooking Workshop Theory based Classrooms Community/Performance Space Social spaces Administration Office Toilets Hydroponics House Greenhouse Space Lab Space Offices Toilets Live & Work Incubation Units 4 x one bed residential units 1 x two bed residential unit Polytunnels Storage Sheds Irish Rail Ticket Shelter Bicycle Shop

Structural Exploration

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Designing Through Modelling Exploring the roof form and piercing the surface

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Designing Through Modelling _exploring the possibility of occupying the roof _Introducting an orthogonal grid in plan _extrapolating the grid into a more complex roof support system _using structure to define spaces _consideration of materials used _occupying the market place underneath the roof

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Designing Through Modelling _exploring the possibility of defining spaces uses through lighting -considering the various social groups and activties that could occur under the roof _using roof undercroft as a light landscape _using polygonal cells as sources of artifical light as well as daylight _using building as a light post for evening social events _a lighthouse in the landscape

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Land Strategy Far left: Sketches exploring various aspects of the startegy: _built programme _plot grains _landscape circulation _land use types Left: _Proposed location of buildings on site _Land use map _Land type and area map

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Roof Pattern with rain water paths

Site Map of Building Location Note: trees and raised embankments provide shelter from the winds in the open air market space

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Drawings of Propsed Structure Top Left: Ground Floor Plan_not to scale Top Right: First Floor Plan_not to scale Left: Section through the building_not to scale

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Thesis: The community building is the focus of the presentation as it is the largest structure proposed for the site and is intended as an anchor for the developing scheme. The solid and void concept can be seen clearly in the plans. The building is a porous floating entity that allows penetration of the elements to the ground below. The early landscape strategy is examining the possibility of using the land and tress to shelter the exposed space of the ground floor market space.

Antithesis: - Clear span - what should the space feel like and what should the roof do? What height should the building be? - Educational aspect of your brief would work best above the market - Land strategy needs clarification - Look at Enric Miralles market building in Barcelona Does the roof have an aesthetic similiar to that of the Hanover Exhibition Centre? - Consider how you access the upper level - A more even spread of light is needed for basketball court on the ground floor - Fruit market & Iveagh market they are semi controlled on ground floor. You can screen off some areas of the ground floor in a similiar manner. - Structure can be simplified and reduced. Structural regularity hidden in roundness look at Richard Miers columns on his 2.7m grid plans - Try playing with the floor level more in section Synthesis: The educational element of my brief will be placed above the market space as it too large a space to use solely as a community centre. I am coming to terms with programming the landscape and one of the next stages is considering how the landscape and the building meet. This will help establish access to the upper floor and to create semi-defined market zones on the ground floor. The next priority is clarifying the structural system that supports the upper floor and roof.

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Exploring Structure of Education Centre _16 m grid _alternate peaks on portal frames establish a dynamic roof system _roof form is tested _structure accommodates solid and void plan concept

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Exploring Portal Frame Forms

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Exploring Structure of Education Centre #2 _16 m x 8m grid _developing the portal frame form _roof pattern is tested further _inhabiting the structure

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Exploring Structure of the Hydro & Residential Blocks _16 m x 8m grid _adopting the same portal frame system as the education centre _junction of void and structure is tested _height of structures is varied

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1:50 Model of Single Bay _16 m x 8m grid _exploring the junctions between the glazed voids, roof and floor plane _invesitagting the panning options for the floor plane _exploring how the timber polygonal celled roof sits inside the concrete frame work

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1:100 Model of Education Centre _investigation of complete structural system and how this is resolved with progammatic planning Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 68


Inhabiting the Organic Hall The Organic Hall houses the market space on the ground floor and an organic school on the upper floor. Constructed of a series of portal frames, these precast concrete elements will be assembled on site and provide the form and framework that defines the order of the spaces housed within. Occupying the space above the landscape, the school notes the significance of the land and the potential of the landscape above which it sits. On ground level, the open air market hall provides a direct connection to the environs that feed it as local harvests ebb and flow through the shelter of this trading space. The roof of the school is conceived of as a secondary landscape, an undulating series of polygonal cells that provide openings through the roof to the sky above. There are a number of primary large rectangular voids that pierce this roof and the floor plane below, allowing light and the natural elements down through the building to the market hall underneath the building.

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8 1 4

10 3 11

2 14 12 1

13 13 15

A Ground Floor Plan_not to scale

C First Floor Plan_not to scale

South Elevation_not to scale Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 70

Section A_A

Section B_B

Section C_C

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3D Renders


Corridor overlooking the Central Void

Performance Space

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Modelling the Programme

Elevation of 1:100 model

Roof Finish

Roof Structural System Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 73

Portal Frame System and interconnecting concrete crossbeams

Relationship of the building to the rolling landscape underneath

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Occupying the Model

View into the library

View from central void into reception area

View the cafe kitchen into the central void

View into the performance space

View of north end of library Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 75



Wild Park Site Strategy_not to scale

Orchard Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

Enterprise page 76


Thesis: The organic hall has adapted a definite position to the landscape that hosts it. Rising above and ramping down to lightly touch the ground, the land is permitted to continue uninterrupted underneath the location of the building. The portal frame system acknowledges the industrial context of the site while developing an aesthetic that respects the land and gives it centre stage. Antithesis: - Relationships to site and landscape? - How productive is the landscape? - Have you played with the landscape enough does it have a narrative, can it ground the pieces? What happens the landscape beneath the building - Undercrofts - do they work in Ireland? Will it just be dirt as opposed to grass? - Buildings relationship to the community? Where is the communal space and identity? - Is there a focal point for the public? What about a hierarchy across the site, similar to 19 century gardens? - Space underneath needs to be fully explained what is the quality of the market space here? - Can the use of the portal frames be more subtle? - Boxes can drop down and occupy spaces this also allows access to boxes roof space - How appropriate is this language for the other buildings on the site? Do you need to design them? - Access the building, surely the ramp can be a bigger gesture - Landscape strategy is a priority now. Synthesis: I found I could not defend the landscape strategy I presented as it felt very underdeveloped and lacked any clear narrative. The idea of a viable landscape under the building can still happen but it can take the form of hard landscape with occasional planting to avoid any dead grassless area. The floor plane and boxes an move somewhat to try and meet the landscape underneath. The school doesnt operate under the traditional syllabus and so other community aspects are included within the building. The market place, the performance space, the caf and the library are all new civic aspects that can support and enhance the lives of the local surbanites. A hierarchy across the site is not appropriate here as there are many entry points into the grounds. What seems more suitable here is a series of structures or follies that can guide and intrigue visitors into the park and different zones within the scheme. In this manner, the ground becomes an active plane where the architecture emerges as an improbable, fluctuating figure. I do need to consider further the connection between the building and the landscape, how the existing ramp can become more generous and inviting than it appears at present. At this time it seems unnecessary to design the smaller buildings on site but rather to focus energies into fully resolving the Organic Hall and her landscape strategy. Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 77


The concept for the landscape is twofold - that of cellular organisation and organic fluidity. The notion of organizing the various land uses into strict zones of use and occupation relates the nature of these spaces, wetlands and allotments can mix for they each require two different environments and land conditions. Segregation ensures stable and individual micro-systems can emerge within each zone while their very separation serves to highlight the differences to passersby and students alike. The idea of a fluid circulation system stems from the amoeba-like form of the land organization. Movement around the various micro landscapes allows access to all while a secondary path system that pierces the cells allows for a full immersion in each landscape.

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There is a notion that a composition of reference points and location markers can be located across the proposed landscape to allow interplay between the land and the built environment. The axes that the paths set up through the site could hinge, terminate or frame views across the site that will guide, reveal or disorientate the eye for the purpose of the scheme. In this way, the ground becomes an active component with the variable architectural elements across the site.

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Lafayette Greens These raised beds were installed on the site of the former Lafayette building in Detroit. The public nature of the project with its open circulation off the streets provides a real platform for an organic education in the city. The raised beds provide a container for soil above the existing ground line. These containers hold soil sourced off site which eliminates the need for treatment of the existing soil on site. The strong appeal with this project is its close proximity to the urban dwellers and their daily activities. Here, in the heart of Detroit, the raised beds literally provided a platform for questioning, rethinking and enquiring about productive land in the city.


Shenyang Campus This university demonstrates how agricultural landscape can become part of the urbanized environment and how cultural identity can be created through an ordinary productive landscape. The design of the campus is a response to the overwhelming urbanization of China and its encroachment upon much arable land. What draws me to this project is its big idea combined with a humble design. Producing rice for the locality and engaging students in activities outside of their normal academic curriculum also serves to further connect people with the land.

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Union Street Orchard, London During the London Festival of Architecture, Bankside Open Spaces Trust created a place for exchange between local residents and visitors to the Festival. Central to the design of the orchard was a plant exchange: people contributed hundreds of plants from their homes to creating an ever-evolving garden that was truly built by the community. A series of workshops and activities took place in the Orchard over the few months it was open.

Tulip Fields The tulip fields in Holland are a feast for the senses. The striking colours and the scent filled air prove a stimulating experience for all who cycle through these productive landscapes. Here, the canals service the fields in terms of transport access and water supply, while paths and roads allows for hours of endless rambling through this multi-coloured landscape. The most exciting part of these landscapes is the productivity and order of the land, the hand of man is clearly visible yet there exists only natural and native elements. This is truly landscape on mans terms.

The interesting aspect of this short lived project was again its immediacy to the local community. The plant exchange concept encouraged active participation within the ground and on street notice boards informed all who passed about the goings-on behind the fence. The proximity of the project to the rail line also reinforced the idea that productive landscape can occur without issue on the edge of infrastructural networks.

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Summer Park, Governors Island Within this matrix of parkland, forested areas of varying density are defined, accommodating solid areas and voids, but also the many buildings and sports and leisure facilities that will be built on Governors Island. This grid is not applied in a strict visual way, since ultimately its contours are destined to blur, even to disappear. Summer Park is an attempt to link the rhythms of urban life to those of nature through a landscape structure that is directly inspired by agricultural vocabulary and processes. The appeal of this project is its potential to break down density on a fringe landscape where there is a lack of transition from one dense development type to another. Here, the landscape offers the potential for a new suburban quality that of quality rather than extensive density and utilisation. Landscape can be consumed in a manner more befitting the scale of man and the land, an idea of worth over exploitation.

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Site Visit: The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim

As my interest lay in providing an organic school on the Broombridge site in Cabra, I was eager to see how such a service might be provided within an Irish context. To this end, I paid a visit to the Organic Centre in County Leitrim, one of the most established and successful organic centres in the country. Here, varied educational programmes range from one day courses to a FETAC approved Horticultural course that runs over the course of a year. Despite its rural location, the centre has thrived and attracts many visitors from around the country. The centre caters for the training of individuals and small groups and is a popular location for visiting classes from local primary and secondary schools. The facilities on site include gardens, a play area, polytunnels, an orchard, willow nursery, compost area, wetlands, crop rows and vegetable gardens. The Organic Centre itself houses a caf, shop and a series of classrooms and offices. The aesthetics of the building mirrors that of a green ethos with its grass roof and timber clad faade. Interestingly, the layout of the grounds establishes a clear edge and separation between the various gardens and lands uses. I found that this order made each plot easy to navigate and study closely. While crop rotation is encourages within the vegetable and crop gardens, soil areas that contain the orchard, wetlands and willow beds do not have the same nutrient requirement for relocation. Polytunnels provided shelter over an ever changing indoor landscape and so these can remain in position as new and used soils and plants are moved by hand as required.

The Organic Centre

The Apple Orchard

Inside the FETAC Tunnel

Inside the Garden Tunnel

The Willow Nursery

Geodesic Greenhouse

The Herb Garden

The freshly planted crop rows

Right: The Organic Centre Grounds Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 83

Site Strategy_not to scale

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Exploring the Landscape Cells

The Cotton Field Area: 3545 sqm Variety: Narrow Row Cotton Predicted Yield: 1 00 grams per square metre

Aquaponics Open Area: 6390 sqm Varieties: Lettuce, radishes, sinach, yale Predicted Yield: 5 times the normal field yield Polytunnel Area: 832 sqm Use: Tomato growing and Propagation Space Predicted Tomato Yield: 40 kg per square metre Water Surface Area: 1386 sqm Fish Variety: Trout Predicted Fish Yield: 3 kg per cubic metre

The Flower Field Area: 6300 sqm Varieties: Michelmas Daisies and Delphinium flower in the Autumn, Daffodils and Primula in the Winter and Spring and Asters, Phlox and Stock in the Summer. Cosmos keep flowering throughout the year Predicted Yield: 200 -350 stems per square metre Grass Gardens Area: 2205 sqm Scientists estimate that grasses make up 20 per cent of the Earths vegetation Varieties: sugar cane, corn, wheat, rushes, barley, oats, rye.

Flower Fields 1:50 Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 85

Allotments Area: 17095 sqm Allotment Types: # 1 - 80 sqm: weekend growing # 2 - 160 sqm: single person/couple # 3 - 240 sqm: family (4/5 persons) # 4 - 320 sqm: family (6/8 persons) # 5 - 400 sqm: extensive use

Wetlands Area: 6045 sqm Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs Reedbed Area: 788 sqm Filter and re-use of Organic Halls brown water output

The Fruit Orchards Area: 5935 sqm Fruit Tree Area: 3582 sqm Apple Tree Varieties: Cairn Russet, Kerry Pippin, Ladys Finger, Ecklineville Fruit Tree Varieties: Strawberry, Wild Cherry, Juniper, Irish Peach, Pear

Orchard Path 1:50 Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 86

The Organic Hall as seen from Bannow Road, partially obscured by the orchard

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Thesis: The landscape is presented as a series of cellular zones that define, organise and direct movement through the site. A gentle undulating surface that flows out from the Organic Hall and into the corners of the suburbs that surround it. The porous nature of the rigid school plan is reflected in the permeable landscape islands that colonise the ground. The symbiotic relationship of building and landscape allow each to be exist independently and as part of a whole. Antithesis: - Sketches of cells very nice your research comes across well. - How do you link into suburban south and industrial north? Are existing barriers good or bad whats your opinion on this? How do you change the topography? By penetrating and encouraging engagement? - How do you decide on the buildings position? Is there not a chance to critique the industrial sheds? Think about pushing/developing that porous nature and passage that is in the building through the site. Dont forget that you are also designing a route. - Be more aggressive attack the urban. Find nodes in the city create tentacles. Make the park more porous maybe demolish houses your scheme is giving back to the city. - Your scheme is about education and reshaping lives, back gardens etc what do the locals get? - Your structure and section think a little deeper is there something to define market space? - How do you rise up in the building? Make a more generous gesture. Make the landscape meet the building. - Again how landscape meets building is the most important thing. Im not sure its floating in the right place at the moment. - Map and look at the landscape of the city to strengthen thesis. Synthesis: I agreed that I had neglected to fully explore the relationship between the city and the landscape as I had been occupied with resolving the relationship between the landscape and building. I need to clarify and fully the connection between the landscape and the building and the landscapes relationship to the city. The ramp and landscape connection into the building needs more attention to fully resolve the entrance into the school. I believe the building is located in the correct place, located at the heart of the landscape and aligned with the midday sun. The fact that the building does not sit parallel to the existing road and industrial buildings is a critique in the orientation and ethos of such practices.

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Griffith Valuation Map of Dublin 1853

Site in its Present State Satellite Image - Dublin 2013 Orange Box denotes limits of 1853 Map

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Site Scheme 1:2000

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a walk through the gardens...



Floral Lane

Grass Gardens


Wild Park



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Site Strategy_not to scale Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land page 93

THE ORGANIC HALL The hall houses an organic school that floats above an open-air market space underneath. The concrete portal frame suspends the enclosed programme above the land, sandwiched between a shifting floor plane and polygonal celled timer roof. Schedule of Accommodation GROUND LEVEL Market Space FIRST LEVEL Reception Caf Library Study Room Garden Workshops Cookery Classroom Theory based Classrooms Community/Performance Hall Social Spaces /Pockets Administration Office Toilets & Showers SECOND LEVEL Reading Space Gym Recreational Zone Performance Fly Space

Concept The building was conceived as an occupied plane that floats above the land. Mans needs are accommodated above the ground while the landscape and her programme continue uninterrupted underneath this floating space. Vertical voids cut through the building and an open base allow for the penetration of the elements and a reconnection between land and sky.

Elevation & Landscape Section 1:400

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Fire Stairs

Workshop Admin Office Workshop Caf


Study Room Cookery Room

Stair Core

Stage Staff Room Reception Hall

Market Space Library


Store Classroom

Ground Level 1:200

Level One 1:200

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Reading Space c c


Fly Space


Level Two 1:200

Inverted Ceiling Plan

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Section CC_NTS

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Section AA_NTS

Section BB_NTS

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3D Images of Organic Hall

Market Space

Overlooking the Main Entrnce Ramp

Recreational Zone


Performance Space Intensifying Broombridge: Productive Suburban Land

Looking down over the entrance ramp page 100

1:50 Sectional Model

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View of Ramped Entrance

Ramped Acces to Social Space above Cookery Classroom

View of Reception Area with Library in Background

Social Space under Polygonal Celled Roof

Library with Mesh Covered Glazing System

Open Air Market Space underneath the Organic School

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The Final Presentation

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The Final Critique

Thesis: For the final presentation, the thesis position was put forward and together with the school of thought it explained the origins of the programme for the building and landscape. The concepts for both the landscape and the building were put forward and their interrelationship was explained briefly. The cellular organisation of the landscape was explained as a series of connected but singular cells that accommodates soil, water and ecological requirements specific to each cells individual use. It was made clear that the aim of this project was to bring food cultivation back into the consciousness of the city and initiate an agricultural dialogue within the Dublin metropolis. Antithesis: - School of Thought well explained and this is a timely project. - How did your brief develop such an un-organic cell like building? - Brilliant site. How is balance achieved between the productive landscape and the suburban landscape? - Your objective seems quite clear; its really interesting the rational of control of nature. - It is a zoo like building and this has given your great freedom not for the landscape but for the city. - Powerful project, really interesting work. Synthesis: The final model did not make it clear that natural light does not penetrate through all the polygonal cells as the roof membrane was removed to expose the structure. The building itself developed as a cell-like structure through working in models and exploring structural solutions for the roofscape. The landscape scheme was always going to have a gentle, undulating and soft flow to it and a rigid structure was intended as a stark contrast to this; the solid habitat of man versus the fluid nature of the land. Had more time allowed, further work could have been done to fully resolve the meeting of the building and the ground. The entrance ramp at present is somewhat underdeveloped and the market space underneath the buildings needs some refining. Productive landscape and suburban landscape are understood by the author as two very different states of being. Suburban land collectively is underused in terms of its out potential and so the call for a more productive landscape seems appropriate within an ever growing city. The proposed landscape at Broombridge is conceived of as a public space that will educate and promote food production and growth at many scales within the suburbs. It is hoped that this space would encourage individuals and local bottom up initiatives across the expanse of private suburbia to demand more output from their underused lands. Areas such as back gardens and shared green spaces could be reimagined as new agricultural resources within the city. In this way, a new landscape balance can be established and defined by suburban citizens themselves.

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As the suburbs continue to surge outwards, more and more of Dublins hinterland is consumed by land hungry housing and business estates. Here, on the edge of the city, land is more affordable and widely available; here the urban demands of the city core are weakened and dilute. In this suburban sparsity, the city is mostly infrastructure and service zone, an inactive in-between that is underutilised and under intensified. The concern for Dublin today is the economic value placed on land within reach of the city limits. In fact, the principle issue is the fact that this land holds ONLY a commercial value within the urban consciousness. It is clear that there no longer exists an awareness of the agricultural value of land within the urban conscious. In spite of this, there exists opportunities within the city to initiate an agricultural intervention and reconnect the city with the land. Pockets of forgotten ground or wildscapes are evident across the city at present. Wildscapes can be defined as landscapes whose function and form have been shaped outside the normal forces of city control. These wildscapes offer the chance for a new urban agricultural dialogue and the possibility of re-establishing the relationship between the earth and the city. The land at Broombridge is one of the key wildscapes identified within Dublin City. This 19 acre site provides an unused landscape less than 4 kilometres from the city centre. The multifaceted landscape strategy proposed for the site offers a variety of crops, land uses and cultivation practices that co-exist independently within the scheme. These agricultural gardens offer the opportunity to engage and observe agricultural practices to both the casual city observer and the keen green fingered student. The cellular layout presents a smorgasbord of produce and uses that range in intensity from exhaustive aquaponics to a gently managed wild parkland. This collection of agricultural gardens offers various slices of productive land uses with the city environment. On an urban level, the landscape strategy knits together the diverse suburban estates that border the site and connects for the first time the various zones of work, leisure and domesticity. Day trippers, train passengers, residents, workers, students, people at leisure and market goers all share common circulation routes through this new landscape that ties together the varied identities of this suburban matrix. In conclusion, the position of this thesis is that the city cannot survive without the agricultural hinterland that sustains it. A cultivation of the land within the urban context is a call for a renewed collective awareness with regards to the future co-dependency of city and land. The Organic Hall at the heart of this proposed landscape strategy affirms the potential of the land by rising above the ground and allowing land related use and occupancy underneath the building. Uninterrupted by walls or enclosed spaces, the ground becomes an active, constructed plane where the architecture emerges as a fluctuating, floating figure. Direct work upon the land is conceived of as work upon a manipulated architecturalised void. This proposal is conceived of as a starting point for the introduction of agriculture within the city limits. Other wildscapes identified within Dublin are ripe for similar cultivation and agricultural interventions. Each site can in turn create a local awareness of land potential and production and thus encourage bottom up projects and back yard farming at a smaller yet wider scale. These projects and schemes will thereby generate a new productive landscape for the future city. THE FUNDAMENTAL AIM OF THIS THESIS IS TO INITIATE AN AGRICULTURAL CONVERSATION WITHIN THE CITYS CONSCIOUSNESS.

Wildscapes Locations across Dublin

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- Illich, I. (1971) Deschooling Society. London: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd. - Young, L.(2012) Under Tomorrows Sky. Available at: http:// - Steenberger, C. and Wouter, R. (2003) Architecture and Landscape: The Design Experiment of the Great European Gardens and Landscapes. Basal, Berlin, Boston: Birkhuser Publishers - Waymark, J., Mosser, M. and Teyssot, G. (2000) The History of Garden Design: The Western Tradition from the Renaissance to the Present Day. London: Thames & Hudson Publishers - Bru, E. et al (2003) Metapolis Dictionary of Advanced Architecture: City, Technology and Society in the Information Age. Berlin: Birkhuser Publishers - Flanagan, A. (2012) The performing wall : Derryarkin linen mill Architecture Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology - Coffey, K. (2012) Evolution of optimisation : Aeroponic tomato farm Architecture Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology - Reddin, G. (2010) Rediscovery of Sligo as a market town Architecture Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology - Walsh, I. (2011) Preparing ground : A study in urban agronomy Architecture Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology - Nicolin, P. et al (2012) Lotus in the Fields. Lotus Magazine. Issue 149 - Jacoby, S. et al (2011) Typological Urbanism. Architectural Design Magazine. Vol 81 No. 1 - Schittich, C. (2009) Review of Architecture and Construction Details Roofs. Detail Magazine. Vol 2009 No 2 - Poved, P. (2000) Enric Miralles 1983-2000. El Croquis. Issues 30 + 49 + 50 + 100 + 101 - Boyd, D. et al. (2006) From Terra Incognita to Terra Firma. Suburban to Superrural. A Venice Biennale Publication - Bucholz, M. et al. (2006) Learning land. Suburban to Superrural. A Venice Biennale Publication -Chater, N. (2011) Productive Landscapes. Ground, Summer 2011 Issue 14 - Mather, E. (2009) A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome. Available at: http://vimeo. com/13966041 -Faust, M. (2011) Metropol Parasol, Seville Spain-Worlds Largest Wooden Structure. Available at: - Lisnovsky, M (2012) Delicia Pre-Digital: Koolhaas y el Centro de Convenciones en Agadir, 1990. Available at: http:// - Werlemann, H. (2010) Expo 2000 Pavilion for the Netherlands by MVRDV in Hanover, Germany. Avaiable at: http://www. - MVRDV Architects (2010) Villa Vpro. Available at http://www. - Koolhaas, R. et al. (1990) Agadir Convention Centre, Morocco, Agadir, 1990. Available at: projects/1990/agadir-convention-centre - Mercer, M. (2012) Public Garden: Lafayette Greens. Available at: Summer-2012/Public-Offering/ - Ring, H. et al (2012) The Union Street Urban Orchard. Available at: - Anon (2013)The Organic Centre. Available at: http://www.

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I would like to say a very sincere thanks to my family and close friends. Without their constant support I dont think I have could have ever completed this degree. I would like to take the chance to especially thank the following people: - Mum and Dad thank you so much for bank rolling my never ending education. Is it ok if I pass on my debt to NAMA? - My siblings Laura and Paul. Thanks Laura for all the dinners, lifts and distractions, it was great to experience life outside the world of architecture from time to time. Paul, you are too funny, I think you were made for the stage! You make me laugh no end. You are a true tonic and I hope that never changes. -To all my architectural buddies, thanks for the laughs, freak outs and general craziness that only a studio environment can nurture. Its been fun. -To all my non-architect friends both near and far, thank you for your calls, emails, company and encouragement along the way. Im looking forward to more of this during the coming months and years! -A special thanks to Laura (again), Irene, Jess, Clare, Celine, Naomi and Caroline. All of your generous contributions made my thesis presentations all the better thanks to your helping hands. - And finally a big thank you to all the fifth year staff. A special mention to my two mentors Dominic Stevens and Andrew Griffin, I could not have asked for better tutors or sounder advice. Thank you both so much.

I have lived and learned so much during my time in DIT. Its time now for the next chapter of my life to begin

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