Dublin, Ireland

Dublin’s Parlour


The proposal aims to form a connection between the Point Village and the energy of the working port. The shipping container, symbol of global trade and exchange, is utilized as a building element to solve all the pragmatic and design issues of the brief, as well as opening up further possibilities and appropriations.


The context of Dublin the Port City is heightened by the strategic positioning of elements in the square that are visible on an urban scale. The design celebrates the temporary nature of the Parlour project. Easy to assemble, disassemble, transport, and re-use, as well as being locally sourced from container holding companies at the port, the shipping container is the ideal sustainable building element.


During the day the checker-board configuration of the screen creates a changing pattern of shadows and light across the square. At night, the containers provide the lighting concept, each acting as an urban-scale light fitting, resulting in a lighting atmosphere of unique and specific character.


The ground level containers can be used as kiosks or market stalls, with side panels opening up to form canopies. The possibility exists for further inhabitation of the screen beyond the scope of the competition brief. For example a continuous viewing gallery at upper levels could be used for watching events, or could also have a daytime life as a linear semi-outdoor art gallery.


The inherent advantage of containers is that they are readily available and inexpensive. They can be used largely in their “as found” condition, with some minor adjustments- painting, removing doors, installing lighting, etc. The use of containers allows an abundant and locally found resource to be recycled in an innovative way. This re-use extends to the life of the containers beyond the life-span of the square. The containers can be returned to use as transport and storage units, or the entire square can be easily dismounted and re-constructed in another location. In this sense, the proposed design registers the reality of the economic down-turn, but celebrates the possibilities of re-using and recycling as a response.