Model Housing – Urban Horticulture

Our proposal is formed by a study of a defined inner city neighbourhood to demonstrate how new opportunities may be found for (re-)inhabitation and enriched living environments within the urban grain of Irish towns and cities.

The neighbourhood of the Liberties, situated on the fringes of the historic core of Dublin, has been selected for its varied pattern of settlement and ever-evolving use and demographics; and for the consequent layering of infrastructure and variety of living environments and housing/building types, within a relatively low-rise but densely occupied urban context. It offers a range of conditions and opportunities that may be seen as typical of Irish urban situations of different scales.

Through an examination of historic occupancies, and a closer reading of existing city fabric, we reveal an array of typical and particular conditions that are currently untapped, and we develop proposals to expand existing living and working infrastructures, and thereby contribute to the long-term resilience of communities. A means, or tool kit, is created for ‘gardening’ our inherited plots and building stock, in a process of pruning, grafting and companion planting; a kind of urban horticulture.


We estimate a mix of potential new units: 336 new dwellings and 250 rehabilitated dwellings for continued use. Stipulated in this, is that each dwelling would have more than one aspect; it must have a threshold zone between front door and street; access to covered (shared) external space; and access to its own private external space.


The Team

Marcus Donaghy (Donaghy and Dimond Architects)

Will Dimond (Donaghy and Dimond Architects)

Beibhinn Delaney (Donaghy and Dimond Architects)

Joe Moran (Donaghy and Dimond Architects)

Dr Alan Mee

Prof. Finola O’Kane Crimmins



Noah Brabazon


UCD School of Architecture Planning and Environmental Policy

Meath Estate

Ecological Building Systems

Irish Architectural Archive

More Exhibitors

Eco:Cube – A Modular Living Concept

Eco:Cube – A Modular Living Concept

We need to rethink how housing is designed and developed in response to today’s challenges. Eco:Cube is a modular living concept which provides an alternative housing model to address issues of density, supply, housing quality, low carbon transitioning and future proofing.



Our proposal consists of houses, undeniably the kind of home that people dream of in Ireland. Our proposal feels open and green; this is what people dream of too. Our proposal has densities which make it land efficient. It feels suburban while having urban densities. Our proposal emphasises community. It provides a space that is appealing to live in.