Proposal to use derelict buildings for the arts

Two urban planners win prize for plan to redevelop large space near Guinness

The State-owned Digital Hub is considering allowing artists and cultural bodies to use existing derelict buildings on the site to help regenerate the area.

The hub, which is based on Thomas Street in the south-inner city area of Dublin, has a considerable number of buildings which are unoccupied and have fallen into disrepair.

The land on which the hub is located was bought by the State in 2001 from Guinness and covers 9½ acres.

Digital Hub property manager Ronan Tynan said they had put together a feasibility report on making the buildings habitable again as most of them have no heating, water, or lighting, although he admitted that providing even a basic level of services would be difficult.


“We are trying to get something together to get us to the next stage if parties are interested in using it, but there is a cost for even temporary use. We’ve got to see if it is feasible money wise.”

Only seven of the buildings on the sprawling site are currently occupied.

A design award has been given to two urban planners for one of the biggest derelict sites, which is adjacent to the Guinness brewery on Thomas Street.

The Dublin Space Invaders award was won by Seamus Donohoe and Thomas Bradley, two former UCD students, for a mixed-use development with a large digital wall at the centre of an open space on the site which will be a tourist attraction in itself and also a showcase for companies using it.

The award was sponsored by Dublin City Council and the Digital Hub and was designed to give young planners a chance to contribute ideas to the redevelopment of the site which will occur on a phased basis

Though home to Ireland’s biggest tourist attraction in the Guinness Storehouse, the Thomas Street area is very underdeveloped and there are very many derelict buildings in the area.

* This article was edited on November 18th

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times