FOCAS Scientific Research Centre at TU Dublin
JMLA were one of five finalists in an international competition for a new Research Centre
In collaboration with Agence Ter, Arup, Punch, and STW Architects
FOCAS – A Vertical Community
The ground and first floors of the FOCAS building are an open masonry structure, housing, group laboratories, flexible rooms, lockers, refuse and bicycle storage, with a stepped forum space that opens out onto the new quadrangle. The forum is imagined as a space for conversations and debate where spontaneous interaction between researchers can lead to interdisciplinary collaborations and the creation of new knowledge. Moving up through the forum, researchers can enter the building at first floor level and from there move up through a central atrium space which is crossed by laboratories, break-out spaces, and staircases between the different levels. The laboratories and associated break out spaces rotate in plan to allow for a spiral thinking path to continue from the external colonnade up through the section. The more sedentary office activities are at the ends of the building next to the vertical cores and allow for direct visual and physical connections to their respective laboratories. At first-floor level on the southern side the tea-stations are located on a terrace overlooking the cultural garden and the student canteen. Phase two office and laboratories are catered for in fifth floor development, along with flexible seminar rooms at ground floor.