City Elsewhere

City Elsewhere
A view of the workshop mid-construction taking place to the pumphouse building. There is a painted grid on the ground that was used as reference when designing and building.
A research project, activated through a DIY workshop, reinterprets public space outside of Dublin’s slow, restrictive construction processes.

Dublin, Ireland. London, United Kingdom. Madrid, Spain. Barcelona, Spain.
A young collective working within the field of architecture with projects encompassing temporary occupations/activations, material re-use and DIY.
Team members
Dominic Daly
Nicolas Howden
David Hurley
Emily Jones
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Urban planning, Curating, Research
Project category
Public space
Project submitted

Rubble is a design and research collective founded by Maria Daly, Dominic Daly, David Hurley, Nicolas Howden and Emily Jones, after graduating from architecture school together in 2022. Our collaborations are concerned with ephemeral and deconstructable architecture and DIY practices.

Our ambition is to grow and develop a reputable architectural collective in a sustainable manner. We are beginning our practice facilitating architectural workshops, designing temporary urban interventions and researching for large exhibitions.

Our first project 'City Elsewhere', is an open ended research project exploring alternative ways of producing public space in Dublin. As part of the project, we facilitated a design and build workshop with UCD Masters students, at the site of the Pumphouse in Dublin port. We spent a week thinking about alternative means of building public space through appropriation, without the limitations of traditional building and material supply chains. All of the material used was with borrowed (and returned after the workshop), rented or re-used materials from construction sites or recycling centres.

We have recently been commissioned by the Irish Architectural Foundation to carry out a research project on contemporary public buildings and their role in society today.

The aim of our practice is to disrupt the conventional norms of the planning and construction sector by offering inventive and architectural solutions. We prioritise creating alternative cultural spaces using both economically and environmentally sustainable methods. As our practice grows, we hope to have the bandwidth to take on multiple commissions, ranging in scales, facilitating an extensive research stage prior to implementation.

The project was activated by an invitation by Univeristy College Dublin and Dublin Port Company to carry out a site-specific research project based at the pump-house building within Dublin Port - a space offering residencies and opportunities for cultural and public events. A large, mostly empty, post-industrial space left over from the remnants of a filled-in graving dock, the site and its associated pump-house building became a testing ground; for methods of community construction, public space interventions, parasitic and guerrilla architectures.

We led a intensive workshop on the site with architecture students from UCD. The principle of the workshop was based around designing and building inteventions from a collection of borrowed, rented, and waste materials gathered from sites around the city including recycling centres, construction schools, salvage yards, building sites. They were bound together with removable and demountable connecting elements, such as ratchet straps etc.

A closing event drove the direction of the design– considering how visitors might engage with the objects, where to gather, to dance, to sit and talk, where a dj could stand. With the constraints of the amount and size of existing materials, the challenge became unifying disparate constructs into one proposal for occupying the site, with the understanding that everything would be taken away shortly after, leaving no trace.

The aberration of a proposal presented itself, the result of an experimental process of making, discussing, drawing, revising, dismantling, and making again. The immeasurable quality of the old graving dock was briefly given definition.

Dublin is a city where (for certain people and certain uses) space is limited, and often inflexible, especially cultural spaces for young people. This workshop acted as an opportunity to think about our public spaces outside the confines of Dublin’s frequently slow, permission restricted construction processes.