Development of the DCU Masterplan commenced with detailed analysis of the character, function and connectivity of key buildings and public spaces throughout the campus, as well as connections to the wider local context.
The Masterplan responds to both established and anticipated pedestrian desire lines, within and across the campus, while also establishing a contemporary new identity for the campus.
The Mall is the primary open space at the core of the campus, having been developed in the 1990’s and defined by buildings on a substantially rectilinear grid, but was underutilised and closed off to campus users with a series of perimeter hedges which directed pedestrians along the edges of the spaces rather than through them.
The historic rectilinear structure is replaced with a more dynamic arrangement of paved and landscaped areas that connect people, destinations and usable open spaces. A hierarchy of primary and secondary pedestrian routes and pathways facilitate ease of movement through a network of hard and soft landscaped open spaces of different scales and character; greater connectivity between buildings and spaces; and encouraging participation and use by students and the wider community of a range of new gathering, passive amenity and recreation areas.
The design focused on delivering animated spaces that would attract users to the mall, with areas to gather, quieter spaces to relax, and a raised grass area for outdoor events. The brown brick pavements were replaced with a bespoke paving mix to lighten the campus and colour was introduced into the street furniture to provide a livelier and fun environment. Mature tree grids were introduced to provide scale and layering of views through the mall. Phase 1 was complete in October 2019.