Housing: Shangan 2C

  • Location: Shangan
  • Architect: McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects
  • Completed: 2002

Shangan 2C, at Whiteacre Crescent and Whiteacre Court, is part of Phase 1 of Ballymun Regeneration - a National Government and Dublin City Council initiative to provide 3,500 new dwellings in the area. The scheme is located in the south-eastern corner of Ballymun on a difficult site, backed onto the rear of the Santry Avenue properties. The existing four-storey 1960s blocks were retained until the completion of the new dwellings in 2002, with the new buildings situated on what was open territory between the 1960s blocks.

Shangan 2C comprises 20 dwellings, with seven different types including, four 2-bedroom apartments, ten 3-bedroom houses, four 2-bedroom houses, and two 2-bedroom townhouses. The total floor area is 1,588 m2.

The intention of the scheme was to establish a palpable sense of place. The urban discipline hinges on a clear definition of public and private areas organised to form a courtyard. The architectural language is based on rhythm, scale and colouration.

The courtyard is formed by two flanking terraces of 2-storey serial houses with an end elevation of tall single-storey wide frontage houses; the single storey units being a response to concerns of overlooking of the Santry Avenue properties. These single storey houses form the backdrop to the courtyard and their chimneys establish an appropriate scale and rhythm. There are no exposed rear gardens and the public area is properly addressed by front elevations.

The entrance to the space and the frontage on the proposed park to the west is formed by two apartment buildings - identical but rotated relative to each other. Corner balconies in brick articulate this rotation and mark the entrance to the courtyard.

Brick is used to define the extent of the public areas. The aesthetic recognises and plays with the serial nature of the house - roof profiles and colouring set up complementary rhythms, and within the courtyard a rhythm of trees and benches also punctuates the space.

Shangan 2C, Whiteacre Crescent and Whiteacre Court, Ballymun, Dublin

Project Team

CLIENT
Ballymun Regeneration Limited
Michael McDonagh (Senior Architect)

ARCHITECTS
McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects
Michael McGarry, Siobhan Ní Éanaigh, Kevin Gartland (Project Architect)

QUANTITY SURVEYORS
Mulcahy MacDonagh
Kevin Porter / Eoin Wilcox

ENGINEERS
DBFL
Brian Clear

MAIN CONTRACTOR
Gem Construction
Kieran McCormack (Contracts Manager)

Shangan 2C is part of Phase 1 of Ballymun Regeneration – a National Government and Dublin City Council initiative to provide 3,500 new dwellings in the area. The scheme is located in the south-eastern corner of Ballymun on a difficult site, backed onto the rear of the Santry Avenue properties. The existing four-storey 1960s blocks were retained until the completion of the new dwellings in 2002, with the new buildings situated on what was open territory between the 60s blocks.

Architects’ Comments

Shangan 2C comprises 20 dwellings, with seven different types including, four 2-bedroom apartments, ten 3-bedroom houses, four 2-bedroom houses, and two 2-bedroom townhouses. The total floor area is 1,588 m2.

The intention of the scheme was to establish a palpable sense of place. The urban discipline hinges on a clear definition of public and private areas organised to form a courtyard. The architectural language is based on rhythm, scale and colouration.

The courtyard is formed by two flanking terraces of 2-storey serial houses with an end elevation of tall single-storey wide frontage houses; the single storey units being a response to concerns of overlooking of the Santry Avenue properties. These single storey houses form the backdrop to the courtyard and their chimneys establish an appropriate scale and rhythm. There are no exposed rear gardens and the public area is properly addressed by front elevations.

The entrance to the space and the frontage on the proposed park to the west is formed by two apartment buildings – identical but rotated relative to each other. Corner balconies in brick articulate this rotation and mark the entrance to the courtyard.

Brick is used to define the extent of the public areas. The aesthetic recognises and plays with the serial nature of the house – roof profiles and colouring set up complementary rhythms to the conventional party wall increment. Within the courtyard a rhythm of trees and benches sets up another increment.

Clients’ Comments

By Michael McDonagh, Senior Architect, Ballymun Regeneration Limited

When I initially briefed the architects for Phase 1 of the housing schemes in the regeneration project, I put down a challenge to them: to match the aspirations of the community with their own particular architectural sensibilities. Up until then (this was before the Department of Environment’s Higher Density Guidelines for Housing) there had been little significant input by ‘serious’ architectural practices into low-rise medium density housing; the bench mark for the community in identifying a model for the ‘house of their dreams’ would have been some relatively low grade Neo-Victorian speculative housing in Finglas or Lucan.

The idea of matching the sensibilities of high-end designers with such limited (in design terms) ambitions had the potential for ending up as a compromise of lowest common denominators satisfying no-one. However, schemes such as Shangan 2C where the architects identified, through the public consultation process, the principle elements which held a significance for the end users and future home-owners within the traditional sub-urban model (such as pitched roofs, chimney stacks and bay windows) and then inspirationally re-arranged them into something unique and undeniably contemporary, have made a very meaningful contribution to the development of quality design in a genre not used to such luxuries.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Thursday, September 18, 2008
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