Design Proposals

Value Creation | Intellectual Property

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Design B - Full Height Hyperboloid Enclosures + Viewing Platform on Merchants Quay

Architectural Intervention in the form of 2 identical Hyperboloid Structures. This proposal Fully encloses the Courtyards but is more Visible on Approach from Inns and Merchant Quays. It is Potentially a more spectacular Duo of Civic Spaces when experienced both Internally and Externally but with Less Flexibility in terms of Floor Plate Usage. Public Plaza & New Bridge options also proposed for this Scheme.

Projects / Proposals / Four Courts Atria

Location : Dublin, Ireland

Date : >2030

Client : TBC

Concept  : Darragh Murphy 2016


The Four Courts is Irelands foremost Courts Building , located on Inns Quay in Dublin.The Design is based upon work commenced by Thomas Cooley in 1776. Following his death,

the Architect James Gandon was appointed to finish the Building. The Building sustained significant damage in 1922 and was reopened ten years later

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Project Proposition

The Four Courts is one of Irelands finest examples of Georgian Architecture but access to the Public is limited due to its function. I propose Roofing the Courtyards using 2 identical Structures to create new Semi Public / Public Spaces. This proposal would enhance and compliment the Four Courts whilst providing exciting and sophisticated Civic Space for Dublin City. These 'Urban Living Rooms' would be multi functional meeting places and allow for Exibits, Performances, Public Lectures, Conferences, Social Events, Dining etc. 


The new Spaces could be accessed separately via installation of new Glazed Booths within the Courtyard Gates. Some functions might be integrated into the Four Courts daytime activities.If in due course the Four Courts were to be transformed into a Museum then the addition of these Courtyard Spaces would greatly enhance such a Proposition. The Courts Service might for example move to a New Fit for Purpose Masterplanned Campus in the Immediate vicinity.

There is Potential for an Enlarged National Museum with capacity for a Larger range of Exibits in a less cluttered layout. With the Addition of these Court Spaces and alongside other Architectural Interventions including a new Public Realm directly opposite on Merchants Quay the Four Courts Complex could in time become a World Class Museum Attraction comparable with those of London Paris Madrid etc.  

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Courtyard Internal View in Progress

The Existing Trees on Inns Quay should be removed to fully reveal the Building to the City and a New Viewing Plaza/s  possibly incorporating a Bridge Link/s is proposed opposite the Four Courts on Merchants Quay so as to allow for Improved viewing of the Building. This Plaza would be classical in Layout in order to Harmonise with the Four Courts. The Undulating Shape of the Plaza/s in Plan reflects that of the Proposed Structures to the Courtyards. They also create a Buffer Zone for the Public - a viewing area removed from exisiting Quayside Vehicular Traffic. 

The Plaza/s and Pedestrian Bridge link/s would result in Optimum Vantage Points for viewing the Architecture of the Four Courts. The Proposed 2 Storey Structures enclosing the Courtyards have a Modest Visual Impact from these Vantage Points - Sufficient to be Noteworthy as Interventions but without Detracting from the Overall Building. The Proposed Plaza and Bridge Links to Merchants Quay are somewhat Indicative - intended to be Classical and Minimalistic.

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New Viewing Plaza from Optimal Vantage Points on Merchants Quay Reinforces Classical Architecture of the Four Courts  ( Option A )

There are options proposed for 1 or 2 Pedestrian Bridges & Viewing Plazas to Merchants Quay. Link Bridges are shown in Rudimentary Form. Random Trees on Inns Quay are removed to reveal the Building. Option A for 2 Storey Domed option for New Courtyards Shown. 

MQI Services on Merchants Quay might be relocated in due course ( These Proposals also create a spin off Opportunity for Valuable Urban Rejuvenation directly opposite the Four Courts. This might include a fresh development opportunity on the site of MQI with potential for them to relocate to a new fit for purpose facility in a more appropriate location. 

Illustration of Potential for Future Urban Renewal to Urban Quarter Opposite

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Proposal opens up Opportunity for Broader Urban Regeneration including new Urban Quarter between Merchants Quay and Cook St. ( Potential for relocated Courts Service / Enlarged Multi Storey School / High Quality Affordable Residential ). Also Creates Potential for several new Urban Vistas / Links to Four Courts,  Existing Churches and Civic Offices. 

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Courtyards lit up at Night + Existing Trees removed contributes to enlivening Inns Quay and Dublin 7. 

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Sketch CGI of Courtyard by Night

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Exemplary Precedents - (Click Links)

Great Court at the British Museum

National Art Gallery Singapore

Relevant Articles for Reference Purposes