Architectural Design Competition for the FOCAS Research Institute

A New Higher Education Research Building at Grangegorman, Dublin  

The Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) is delighted to launch an open two-stage architectural design competition. The Competition will enable selection of an architect led team to design and deliver a new building for Technological University Dublin’s (TU Dublin) FOCAS Research Institute.  

The TU Dublin Research and Innovation Hub at Grangegorman is vital to the identity of the university as a centre for cutting edge research.  Bringing the FOCAS Research Institute and all its researchers to the campus will further anchor research in Grangegorman.  The quality of the facility and its adjacency to students and researchers in the sciences and health, and in engineering disciplines will enable TU Dublin to grow and enhance research capacity. 

The TU Dublin FOCAS Research Institute, originally Facility for Optical Characterisation and Spectroscopy, is to be relocated from its present location in Dublin’s south inner city to the Grangegorman campus just across the Liffey. This c.4,500m2 development will further consolidate an emerging Research and Innovation Hub at this central location within the Grangegorman Campus. 

The objective of the project is to develop an enduring, adaptable, and environmentally responsible building that reflects the progressive ethos of TU Dublin, its staff, students and its research programmes. The project further advances the full development of the Grangegorman site, as envisioned by the award-winning Grangegorman Masterplan.     

This Competition forms one part of a wide range of procurement strategies and presents an opportunity to reward quality design sensibilities, which will also contribute to the multi-phased development at Grangegorman. The Grangegorman project seeks to create an inclusive education, research and healthcare campus, while revealing a vibrant piece of the city, in a way that is sensitive to its context. The project to date represents the largest ever State investment in higher education infrastructure in Ireland.    

The GDA is seeking entries from architects of all backgrounds. The first stage of the Competition is open to Architects, with no need to name a full team. Further information is available through the eTenders portal: Public RFT – Architectural Design Contest for the FOCAS Research Institute, Technical University Dublin, Grangegorman ( where prospective Entrants can access a Registration Form. Submission of first stage entries will be on the 2nd February 2021.