2005 – Ryan Institute, Citywest, Co. Dublin

Architect: de Blacam and Meagher Architects



The Dr. Tony Ryan Academy of Entrepreneurship, was set up in conjunction with Dublin City University to train entrepreneurs in management skills and advancing business technologies. Based on the brief requirement for a landmark building offering professional educational facilities in a sustainable environment, the building is architecturally conceived as a great glazed hall, elevated above the landscape, to which are attached the lecture theatres in the form of tall titanium shells. Open planned, naturally lit and ventilated, this is an environmentally friendly building with minimal C02 emissions.

The Academy consists of two lecture theatres with a capacity for one hundred people each, while the glazed hall contains reading and meeting areas, seminar rooms, library, offices and a restaurant that opens out onto a timber deck.

Two titanium clad lecture theatres are set in a water pool to dramatically reflect sunlight. These lecture theatres buck the traditional black box format of the lecture hall, and are both naturally lit and ventilated. The shell forms of the lecture theatres were designed to create a stack event ventilation system, alleviating the need for air-conditioning. These shell forms then open to the sky, allowing indirect daylight to stream into the halls. Nestled next to the shell form lecture theatres, the great glazed hall is bathed on four sides by daylight. The large glazed areas are shaded from the sun by deep overhangs and automatic shading blinds.

The Institute, campus and the Academy were closed during 2008, after the 10 million euro initial investment was followed by 1.3 million euro of losses. A new Director was appointed in early 2009, and the Ryan Academy recommenced operations, without Dublin City University.