u2

GAPS OF COMMUNICATION

LANDMARK TOWER / U2 STUDIO, INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION, DUBLIN, IRELAND, 2003.

in a mixed development at britain quay, grand canal dock, dublin docklands development authority.

in between / in common / interrelate

a) analysis: human beings define themselves through the energy and contents of the spaces between them. unification as well as conflicts lie there. these spaces seem easy to touch, but they are of a very specific and refined substance which dissolves the moment one tries to grasp them. they are physical and sublime at the same time. these spaces are active elements of communication which change in continuous metamorphoses and form the individuals of our society. it is from there that the energy of life emerges. taking care of these spaces of our society is the key for any future common horizon of mankind.

b) transformation: the three individual towers of the landmark are articulated by vertical joints. the interpretation and transformation of these vertical gaps into elements of communication in between the towers is the essence of the project. they become architectural bodies, optimizing the conditions of the towers in terms of light, view and specific functions. they engage in active, spatially altering communication with each other, sometimes almost unifying and sometimes almost apart, just like human beings. three types of facades are generated. One is the generic structure, and the other two arise through the cuts of the elements of communication. the facades facing north-east and -west are of a heave structure and those who tend to orient towards south-west or -east are fully glazed, just like the one on the south side. these three types provide an optimal climate for the building.

c) implementation: the location of the towers at britain quay generates two arcs of tension. one is the presence of the building to the north seen from river liffey, and one is the orientation to the south to grand canal dock. the vertical gaps of the towers are activated as a design tool for the optimization of light and view conditions to the
south-east and south-west as well as for the overall view of the building seen from a distance. the progressively opening angles of the elements of communication generate optimal late morning and afternoon conditions. each storey has a slightly different and individual floor-plan. where the gaps are minimized, the programs situated in the towers tend to be connected and more open - loft-like or open commercial offices -, where they are well articulated and open, the programs of the towers tend to be individual and separate, providing optimal conditions to each of them - residential units or smaller offices. the structure and floor heights of the towers allow for adaptable program use according to changing market conditions in so far as they provide infrastructures adaptable to both needs, residential and commercial. in every tower, the lift provides direct access to each unit. on the ground floor, the discreet and separate access of u2 on the west side is combined with the separate parking space and the direct access to the goods lift. The internalization and compactness of the u2 parking and access in the building enables the full discretion of any access to the studio. the access to the basement parking is provided by a hydraulic, rotating car lift which very effectively replaces the ramp and allows for access to all levels of the building from the basement. the tower users access from the north. along the whole east facade there is a restaurant on the ground floor level, which on the south part of the building extends into the public space. right above it there are the bar and the nightclub on the first floor. the nightclub is situated underneath the footprint of the towers. they have spatial impact on the nightclub by defining its dimension through the structure of the vertical elements of communication.