Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2, Ireland
The O’Reilly Institute was the first commission to flow from the Trinity east End Masterplan, and established the concept of the glazed student street and the refurbishment and reuse of the by then listed houses on Westland Row. The new building itself was so deep that a courtyard was required to allow light and air into its centre.
The proximity of the railway line and its noise led to the decision to enclose the courtyard with a glass roof and make it into a winter garden. The extraordinary success of this space as a focal point dominated by its huge banana plant, led to the adoption and development of the glass garden, atrium or green lung as a recurring component of many of the practice's subsequent schemes.
This building broke new ground also in its time for its use of ground source water heat pumps to reduce its carbon footprint, a cutting edge concept in 1986.