National University of Ireland Galway Masterplan, Galway
Reddy A+U were commissioned to undertake a substantial and complex masterplan design study of the entire Galway Campus of the National University of Ireland. The team worked to realise the University’s vision to operate as a leading Irish University, a world class academic institution and be rooted in the city of Galway providing a central role in teh advancement of Irish Society.
NUIG is a premier seat of learning with a student population in excess of 15,000. The community is a key part of Galway city providing a significant driver of the socio-economic development of the city. The campus is over 260 acres in size and lies to the west of the River Corrib and north of the city Cathedral in close proximity to the city centre.
The University has undergone significant change in the recent past with the increase in number of the university and RA+U were tasked with reviewing the current state of the buildings, future opportunities and to bring an overriding strategy and identity to the large campus. The team worked closely with the University including the students, professors and estates team to ascertain the development opportunities within the new and historic settings.
RA+U developed the wide ranging and complex brief to improve accessibility and connectivity between existing and proposed buildings within the Campus with more than 35,000 pedestrian trips taking place every day.
The scheme was designed to reflect the past progress taking on board the 1977, 97 and 07 masterplans and look to the design of the next 10 to 20 years of development. RA+U looked to the issues, challenges and solutions facing NUIG and also the changing nature of the Third Level Education market in Ireland and further afield.
The designs looked to a number of specific objectives which clearly included for sustainable growth and the stewardship of the environment and heritage of the site. The vehicular access was radically reviewed with the ambition to reduce the domination of the motor car allowing for the future development of the external realm with a focus on pedestrian and cycle access. The team also reviewed and identified the different character areas of the campus and tailored the masterplan to create a homogenous overarching design while enhancing the identity and wayfinding of the unique zones and functions within the campus.
Following on from, and informed by, the masterplan RA+U were able to develop a number of buildings and development projects as part of the campus regeneration. This led to a number of buildings and collaborations allowing RA+U to see the fruits of the successful masterplan leading to a better campus rooted in the city environment.