No evidence in it of anything to do with scale, windows, building, appearance. We put that on the table, I promise you, everyone left that meeting knowing exactly what they thought they saw in that. We have to meet them all and bring them into the idea of the project to help us to get the idea for the project. They all just wanted to know, ‘Where does the idea come from and how will it feel?’
The design project
Site, context and place > Initial ideas > Development and detail
Project: Sean O’Casey Community Centre
Location: Dublin, Ireland Architect: O’Donnell +Tuomey Architects Date: 2008
Tower and wall on St Mary’s Road. Somehow, the thought in the Sean O’Casey Community Centre was that the building would come down to the ground and be experienced by the pleasure and legibility of gardens. It’s a simple volume. Nobody asked any kind of end-result type questions. We were saying, ‘Why wouldn’t there be a garden in the house that belongs to everybody?’
We just came in with a white card model with four little volumes on it: a sports hall, a theatre, a plant room and an administration tower. People could immediately begin to associate and identify with that. There are 1,800 houses in the East Wall, and they are all two-storey and they all have gardens. bottom right:
Palm-sized sketch model explaining the relationship of solid to void within the courtyard building.