What do you do with an unfinished estate?
Bucholz says he often thinks about new uses for the complex. “Pretty much every day something occurs to me. We should think about newer models of living and working; combining living, studying and working. The landscape is a big garden, it could be productive use growing things, or for recreation and sport activities or concerts.”
“The project was designed as a low energy project. It’s very thin, easy to ventilate . . . these things are embedded in its DNA. It’s designed for human use, for human occupation . . . Four years is a very short time in the life of a building, one has to be patient.”
Case Studies: Living in an unfinished estate
1 'It's nice, it's modern. Everything is new and it's just handy'
Anthony O’Riordan (21) from Cork is studying arts at UCD. He lives with his sister on the fourth floor in a two-bedroom apartment
“My sister found it but we both really like it. It looks great. It’s close to UCD, and to my sister’s work. There’s a bus into town every five minutes.”
It’s so quiet, he says, that days can go by when he doesn’t see another resident. “Sometimes you see people going in and out but not much and I couldn’t say I know any of them.”
Despite the emptiness, O’Riordan is not uneasy about coming home at night. “There is always a guard on, so you would never feel nervous.”
It suits his lifestyle and he says it is probably the sort of place most students would want.
2 'I like the area, but notice there are a lot of empty apartments'
Aisling Curtin (26) originally from Kildare, is a Montessori teacher in Dún Laoghaire. She has been living with her boyfriend on the 5th floor of the first block since January
“It’s really nice. I like the area. But you do notice that there are a lot of empty apartments. At night you don’t see many lights on.” Curtin knows no one in the complex.
The rent is “slightly more expensive” than in the city centre, but the apartment is superior to anything else she viewed. “It’s a one bedroom but it doesn’t feel boxy, and the finish is nice and all the appliances are top of the range. There’s a really large balcony, which was nice during the summer.”
“I wouldn’t buy any apartment and I find it unusual that there are families here. There are no little areas for children to play . . .”