Roland Bosbach and Manuel Diez Garrido

Workshop Description:


The unprecedented volume of construction in Dublin and the greater Dublin Area over the last decades is now facing an equally unprecedented period of negative growth. With the average vacancy rate of commercial properties reaching 20% and rising, many recent residential developments unfinished or vacant and the value of residential properties dropping by up to 40%, the oversupply of both the residential and commercial market is staggering. Incoherent development and planning decisions have created a patchwork of urban and suburban fragments, a city ON HOLD.

The implementation of NAMA, the new National Asset Management Agency, will amalgamate the vast majority of these fragments under one state authority, crossing traditional divides between the Local Authorities of the Greater Dublin Area and open up new opportunities to reconfigure, shrink, reprogram or connect.

With some developments predisposed for demolition similar to the phenomena of Shrinking Cities in Eastern Germany and Eastern Europe, other areas will be reinvigorated with both commercial and residential tenants on the move for cheaper and more central locations with proper access to infrastructure and services.

Task of the Workshop

The intention of the workshop is to find approaches to the various challenges and opportunities of these emerging dynamics. To find strategies that can help to positively influence and modify the urban fabric. The projects can range from urban studies, architectural interventions, feasibility studies for alternative uses, proposals for short term activism like “legal” squatting or marketing campaigns for threatened suburbia (get three houses for the price of one).

No. Participants

A maximum of 10-12 participants working in teams or as individuals.

Time frame and Workshop Structure

An initial introduction of the topic with a selection of short lectures by a variety of external advisors with different professional backgrounds ranging from Architecture, Urban Design to Property Valuation will be followed by a discussion to start the workshop.

Week 1 – Research and Strategies

Participants can then carry out research of their preferred context and develop strategies for a particular project and scale. The research and strategy development will be accompanied by daily reviews and discussions with the tutors and external advisers.

Week 2+3 – Project development

In the second and third week participants are asked to develop their projects further and prepare a short final presentation documenting their conclusions in an appropriate format for the scale and context of their project.

Ongoing – Dissemination and Market Testing

It will be encouraged to further develop the various strategies and find appropriate ways of communicating the ideas to the various stakeholders and the wider public with a view to test their potential for realization.

External Advisors:

Donal O’Donoghue, Valuer and Property Consultant

Pauline Byrne, Strategic Planning Officer, Treasury Holdings

Others to be confirmed

nowwhatonhold ( at )

About the Organisers:

Roland Bosbach was born in Germany in 1970. Studied at TU Dresden. Set up BSPL in Dublin in 1999 and published 'Anonmag' with Ronan Devlin. He had previously worked in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland and left in 2004 to work in China on a range of large scale commercial and housing projects. He has extensive experience in the fields of Housing, Urban design and Landscape design and won numerous awards for housing and urban design projects. Roland has also tutored at the schools of Architecture at DIT and UCD. He is currently working with Denis Byrne Architects as the Project Director on the competition winning scheme for the new Networks Services Centre for Bord Gais Networks in Finglas Dublin.

Manuel Diez Garrido is an Urbanist with a Degree in Civil Engineering, a Masters in Urban Design and a Postgraduate Diploma in Mobility Engineering with fourteen years experience in the design and development of urbanism and engineering projects within multidisciplinary groups. He has worked in Spain, South America and Ireland, set up Urban Fabric in 2008 and is currently working on the masterplan for the Town Centre Extension of Celbridge, Co. Kildare.