Part of the RIAI Network

Silver Housing Medal Winner 2000-2002

  • The Wooden Building
  • Architect:
    De Blacam + Meagher Architects
  • Award Year: 2000-2002
  • Location: Dublin
The Wooden Building


The Wooden Building is located in the West End of Temple Bar where the brief for an apartment block was met by the creation of a singular and memorable building. By reaching upward, opening out at rooftop level with huge wooden canopies, the buidling addresses the ceremonial space framed by the City Hall and the gates of Dublin Castle, surely one of the great set pieces of 18th Century urban design in Dublin. The structure rises up, wrapped in stepping planes of wood, allowing views towards the Castle gates from its stairway. The facades are sliced away on the descent to ground level, opening up a pathway into the block and creating a web of smaller spaces around the perimeter of the building. These provide privacy and screening from the street. The passageway up to the courtyard forms a route through the city block and allows access to the creche at first floor.

Inside, the promise held out by the exterior is rewarded by memorable interiors and the spatial richness found within. The careful detailing and assured use of materials continues an exploration of the use of wood, stone and brick in the architect's work, seen in earlier projects for Trinity College and more recently in the library at Cork Institute of Technology.

With the design of this building, the architects link the earlier pinnacle of 18th Century achievement at Cork Hill with the late 20th Century flowering of contemporary urban design that is the Temple Bar project, and demonstrate how, through imagination and technical mastery, a work of architecture can transcend and inspire.