Grangegorman Development Agency – Fragments 2 - Open House Dublin 2024
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Grangegorman Development Agency – Fragments 2


In July 2023, the Grangegorman Development Agency lodged an application for Planning Permission to progress housing. 

This follows several years of careful preparation by our Project Team and intense design work by our Design Team led by McCullough Mulvin Architects and TODD Architects. 

The Grangegorman Residential Care Neighbourhood, on behalf of the Health Service Executive, will provide new homes for older persons, replacement homes for the residents of St Elizabeth’s Court and a daycare facility and pharmacy – all arranged next to and about the existing Primary Care Centre. 

To mark this milestone Valerie Mulvin of McCullough Mulvin Architects and Dr Austin O’Carroll of the Grangegorman Primary Care Centre sat with us to talk of ageing, home, community, and the city – along with other fragments of life. 

As part of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Open House Dublin 2023 Festival of Architecture, the Grangegorman Development Agency presents Fragments – a conversation in three parts companioned with three situating texts. 

Part Two: City 

In the spring of 1995, the Eastern Health Board appointed Arthur Gibney & Partners to test the capacity of the entire Grangegorman site.

Gibney had recently converted Dr Steevens Hospital into administrative headquarters for the Health Board, he had also master-planned and supervised the construction of several buildings at Dublin City University, Glasnevin – not far from Grangegorman. 

At that point in time, the Health Board was preparing to contract at Grangegorman. By their own estimates, they would only require four of the thirty hectares. 

Separately – but at this same time – the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) was also making plans for Grangegorman. Ironically, they were operating from a very constrained four hectares, albeit dispersed between multiple sites across the city. From Mountjoy Square to Rathmines, DIT stretched itself 4km across the city.

Scott Tallon Walker Architects were engaged by DIT to advise on the future needs of the Institute into the early years of the next century, including an assessment of their then-current accommodation, and the restructuring of the institute on a faculty basis. Scott Tallon Walker had very recently overseen the second phase of the Dublin Corporation Civics Offices development. 

By early summer 1998, the Health Board had gathered the work of Gibney and Tallon together. 

The section of their report entitled “St Brendan’s Hospital and the Dublin Institute of Technology” opens emphatically, noting that St Brendan’s gave little to the city and deliberately excluded connections with its neighbourhood. The report regarded the site as an exceptional opportunity to protect an important inner-city area for future generations in the capital city. 

The following year, the Irish Government made a move to transfer lands between ministries, from health to education. An ad-hoc interdepartmental Working Group on the development of the Grangegorman site was constituted to examine how it could best be developed to achieve Government policy priorities in meeting education and social service needs, against a backdrop of construction industry capacity constraints.

By the following March, the Working Group reached their conclusion; a State Development Agency would be established. 

It would prepare an Integrated Urban Design and Land Use Framework, drive procurement strategies, pave the way for the communities of Grangegorman, and make the city. 


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