Researchers at UCD


Merlo Kelly

Senior Tutor / Occasional Lecturer

School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy

Tel: +35317162757


Merlo Kelly is a practicing architect, and a design studio tutor, technology studio tutor and occasional lecturer at the School of Architecture, UCD. Following her graduation from UCD she worked at Robin Mandal Architects and Bucholz McEvoy Architects, and collaborated with PAC Studio. She has been teaching in the School of Architecture, UCD since 2006 and works part-time in Lotts Architecture and Urbanism Ltd.

In 2011 she completed a Masters in Urban and Building Conservation at UCD and was the recipient of the ICOMOS Rachel Mac Rory Memorial Award for her thesis entitled 'Luke Gardiner and the Gardiner Estate - Conserving an Urban Morphology', a study of today's north inner city Dublin against the backdrop of Gardiner's late eighteenth century urban developments. This work has been disseminated at a series of conferences and public lectures.

Recent collaborative research projects include five phases of a survey of twentieth century architecture in Dublin commissioned by Dublin City Council and the Heritage Council, and an inventory of Dublin city commissioned by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH).

Further to an Arts Council architectural bursary in 2013, ongoing research involves an investigation of the urban plot and design of external domestic space, comprising studies of the Roman Domus and the work of Alvar Aalto. These studies have been the subject of a number of lectures.

Recent publications include 'An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Dublin North City' (NIAH, November 2015), 'More than Concrete Blocks - Vol. I' (Four Courts Press, May 2016). 'More than Concrete Blocks - Vol. II' is currently a work in progress.



Rowley, E (Ed), Kelly, M.,de Róiste, N., O'Toole, S., Pollard, Carole, (Contributors). (2016) More than concrete blocks : Dublin city's twentieth century buildings and their stories. Vol. I, 1900-40. Dublin: Dublin City Council with UCD and Four Courts. [Details]
Kelly, Merlo (2015) An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Dublin North City. Dublin: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Available Online [Details]

Book Chapters

Kelly, Merlo (2012) ''Give' and 'take': Luke Gardiner and the making of the north city' In: Gillian O'Brien & Finola O'Kane (eds). Portraits of the City; Dublin and the Wider World. Dublin: Four Courts Press. , pp.62-75 Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

·       An examination of Dublin's urban morphology

·       A documentation of the historic layers of urban / rural development

·       The study of traditional building methodologies & urban design intentions

·       Analysis of building practice at the scale of the house, the street and the city

·       Representation of historic urban / rural patterns through drawing and mapping

·       A study of urban plot & external domestic space

·       The Roman Domus / Pompeiian house & plot

·       The courtyard house typology

·       20th century architecture in Dublin

·       A re-evaluation of the city core, in the context of future urban development



Teaching Philosophy

In my teaching practice I am interested in promoting the study of our built heritage as a fundamental aspect of design education, and an exploration of the ways in which existing fabric informs contemporary design from the scale of a single plot to the greater urban or rural context.