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Posted: 23 January 2007

Five international architecture firms shortlisted for UCD Gateway Project

University College Dublin, Ireland’s largest university, has announced details of the shortlist of architectural firms chosen for the 10-hectare Gateway Project on the university campus. 

The firms include two from the UK, Hopkins Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects, both based in London; two from Germany, Ingenhoven Architects from Dusseldorf and Behnisch Architekten from Stuttgart and Los Angeles; and one from Norway, Snøhetta from Oslo. The short list was chosen from an initial entry of 62 firms drawn from throughout the world.

Aerial view of UCD, Belfield campus. Red line indicates outline of competition boundary. Blue line indicates zone of architectural consideration
Aerial view of UCD, Belfield campus. Red line indicates outline of competition boundary. Blue line indicates zone of architectural consideration.

The calibre of international interest reflects the scale and prestige of the competition.  The Gateway Project is the core to the University Campus Development Plan and aims to create a living, breathing environment for students, staff, visitors and the wider community, transforming the campus from a predominantly suburban 9-5 environment into a hub of activity.

The brief to the five short-listed firms is to develop a mixed-use design to include cultural, leisure, academic, residential, hospitality, retail and commercial functions.  The short listed architects have visited the campus and will now develop designs and plans that take into account the core research and teaching of the university alongside environmental sustainability and are, of course, beautiful in structure and function.

“Our vision is to build on the wonderful facility we already have into a centre that matches the finest universities internationally. The architectural competition is core to this vision as it attracts the finest planners and designers to create an iconic centre for Dublin and for this university.” the president of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady said.

The scale of the Gateway Project is just under 10 hectares in size.  The site is bounded to the north-west by the Veterinary College, to the west by the O’Reilly Hall, Science Centre and Belfield Lake, to the south by the main body of the campus, pedestrian spine and Tierney Building and to the east by the UCD Engineering and Materials Science Centre, the Deadalus Building and Clinton Institute.  The site includes the entrance from the N11 and extends across the Stillorgan Road fly-over.

The five short-listed firms will submit their proposals and the final winner should be announced in April.  The competition jury includes Dr Hugh Brady, President, UCD, Sir Richard MacCormac, MacCormac Jamieson Pritchard, Mr James Mary O’Connor, Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners, Ms Heather Ann McSharry, General Manager, Reckitt Benckiser (Ireland) Ltd.  and Mr Michael O’Doherty, Former Chief Architect, Office of Public Works.

Further details on the Gateway Project and the architectural competition are available on

Examples of key projects and prizewinning work:

Snøhetta (Oslo): the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera, the WTC Cultural Centre in New York, the Bergen School of Art and Design and the Sandvika Cultural Centre, Norway.

Hopkins (London): the Portcullis House, New Parliamentary Buildings in London, Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham; The Kroon Building, Yale University; the New Chemistry Building, Princeton University and Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

Zaha Hadid (London): the BMW Headquarters in Leipzig; Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg, Germany; MAXXI Centre for Contemporary Art in Rome, the ARK Academy London and the Zorrozaurre Masterplan in Bilbao.

Behnisch (Stuttgart and Los Angeles): Harvard University Allston Science Complex’ Arizona Gateway Project, Arizona State University; and the Genzyme Centre, Cambridge, MA.

Ingenhoven (Dusseldorf): the Lufthansa Aviation Centre in Frankfurt, the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg and the Campus O2 Headquarters in Munich.

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