Designed by Shay Cleary Architects, Blackpitts Student Accommodation/ The Tannery is a complex urban student housing scheme, located in the Liberties area of Dublin 8 which is currently undergoing extensive urban regeneration.

Project Name: Blackpitts Student Accommodation – The Tannery
Studio Name: Shay Cleary Architects

Project size: 9600 m2
Site size: 3552 m2
Project Budget: €25500000
Completion date: 2018
Building levels: 7
Location: Ireland
Photography: Marie Louise Halpenny

Blackpitts Student Accommodation - The Tannery by Shay Cleary Architects - Sheet10
©Marie Louise Halpenny

The site is bounded to the east by Blackpitts, to the north by a new pedestrian street which it shares with a new hotel and to the west by the boundary wall to the adjoining Warrenmount Convent. The scheme provides 296 student rooms and associated communal facilities in a U-shaped perimeter arrangement enclosing a west facing quadrangle courtyard. The building ranges in scale from seven to four floors with six lift & stair cores serving forty-eight apartments each with communal living/dining spaces. The cluster apartments range in size from three to eight bedrooms, with each bedroom provided with a study desk, ensuite toilet and shower pod. A two-storey gymnasium building adjacent to the boundary wall forms the western enclosure to the courtyard.

Blackpitts Student Accommodation - The Tannery by Shay Cleary Architects - Sheet12
©Marie Louise Halpenny

Through high quality architectural design, the building is visually and materially anchored in its context in this particular part of Dublin. One of the primary design features of the student housing is the incorporation of the generous communal courtyard which includes a specialist landscape design with trees, furniture and high-quality materials. The building is clad in Jura Beige limestone which provides an attractive and durable finish and helps to reflects light into the courtyard. Careful consideration is given to the durability and life spans of all specified products and materials.

The project is a BIM Level 2 project using Autodesk BIM 360 and Field tools to streamline communication of data and drawings and has been recognised as an Innovation in Construction Award Winner in 2018. The project transformed a brown field site to a green field footprint by creating large expanses of green using all sedum roofs, 85% green area ground landscaping, as well as ground water and rainwater harvesting tanks that can be used for maintenance of the green areas.

Blackpitts Student Accommodation - The Tannery by Shay Cleary Architects - Sheet15
©Marie Louise Halpenny

The overall design for the building placed great emphasis on the creation of good public spaces and orientation for natural light throughout the day – with effective design and construction, the building’s outcome went beyond the client’s brief.

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©Marie Louise Halpenny

The project was the recipient of the Student Accommodation Project of the Year Award at the 2019 Irish Building and Design Awards. Following this recent success, the project is shortlisted for an award at the upcoming 2020 Irish Construction Excellence (ICE) Awards. Nominated in the category “Commercial Over €10m” in competition with 3 other major projects across the country, the shortlisting is a recognition of the architectural design quality of the scheme, the high standard of construction execution by BAM Ireland and the innovative nature of the BIM-enabled design and construction management which was employed across the project.


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