This programme demonstrates an attempt to address the complex layers of urban context present in this area of Dublin - the remnants of a Georgian grid enmeshed among the sprawling industrial fabric: a response to both the city and the riverfront, introducing a new cultural and social heart into the stagnant urban/industrial body.
On a macro level, a study of historical precedent illustrated a general acceptance of theatre typology which was based upon the roman proscenium layout. In direct response this scheme attempted to develop an alternative model - one which would be free from the limiting constraints of perspective, liberating audience and performer alike and bringing a new found dynamism and mystery to the performance, whilst accommodating the varied performance required in the brief.
The central generating concept of fragmentation and containment was continued into the adjacent urban parkland which, whilst not expressly requested in the brief, was seen as an essential generator of social activity bringing life to both the street and urban park and providing a cultural connection to the city centre via the rejuvenated canal system. The Interact competition strove to encourage the notion of an architecture not in isolation but as a combination of the many components of knowledge available by combining a student architect, engineer and quantity surveyor in simulation of a design team - some of the principal concepts evident in this scheme are derived in part from the inspiration and encouragement of the various members of this student collaboration.
Darren Bruce was chosen as the Mackintosh School of Architecture's entrant for the Bronze medal in the President's Medal Awards for his ability to imaginatively handle the varied building types and scales of the Third Year programmes.
Darren's work reveals interesting conceptual moves, a rigorous development of the design in terms of function, context, style and concern for structure and materials.
He brings to bear on these issues a quirky but pleasing originality which is supported by an understanding of the analytical, creative and expressive possibilities of drawing which allows him to seriously examine the character and appearance of the projects.