Irish Projects 2014

Innovative Design for Irish Skies:Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square is Now Convertible

There is a saying in Ireland that you can have ‘four seasons in one day’ – from warm spring sunshine to intense summer light, and from lively autumn gales to a sudden wintry shower.  Because Irish skies are constantly changing, Seán Harrington Architects was commissioned to design an innovative solution to provide a convertible weather covering over a popular public square in Dublin’s Temple Bar area.


The landmark ‘Umbrella Project’ was recently installed in Dublin’s trendy Temple Bar area by German manufacturer MDT-Tex, a market leader and innovator in outdoor coverings.  The four umbrellas were on a four-day journey from Germany, where they were engineered and manufactured. The bespoke design comprises of a 21-metre high steel structure, which supports an asymmetric tilted umbrella, measuring approximately 11-metres by 14-metres. The closed umbrellas are elegant slim objects of sculptural beauty, with the canopy fabric encapsulated by the umbrella arms, inspired by bullrushes, reaching for the sky. Opening within approximately 7 minutes, the four umbrellas overlap like flowers to provide a continuous cover for Meeting House Square, the heart of outdoor cultural activity in Dublin. Floodlit from above through the translucent Teflon fabric, the square can be atmospherically lit in different colour moods. Audio speakers as well as water and electricity supplies are incorporated for maximum usability.




TAKA Architects (Cian Deegan and Alice Casey) have been shortlisted for the 2014 BD Young Architect of the Year Award (YAYA). Now in its 16th year, YAYA “recognises the most promising new architectural practice in the European Union.”

This year’s shortlist of 6 practices includes 2 Spanish practices, 2 UK practices, one from Portugal and one from Ireland (TAKA). It is the first time since 2008 that an Irish practice has made the shortlist.


The winner will be announced in  December. Previous winners include Niall McLaughlin (1998), Tom dePaor (2003), Patrick Lynch(2005), Nord (2006), Carmody Groarke (2007) Hackett Hall McKnight (2008) and David Kohn (2009).