North House today                       View of the Academic Hub

This new Academic Hub is sited within the Strategic Development Zone of the Grangegorman site. The building will have a critical role to play on the newly-designed TU Dublin City Centre campus; combining the central Academic Library with other Student Academic Support spaces. The proposed scheme will contribute to the creation of a focal point; or ‘heart’ of the masterplan. The site is adjacent to an existing masonry building, known as the North House, as well as a large public space proposed by the overall masterplan. The building will be used by the entire student community, academic and administrative staff, and members of the public who use the community Library.

The proposed building is approximately 19,000sm and extends over 6 floors. It will house a range of different facilities including Academic Support Services, Institute Administration, a Public and Academic Library and will be the first co-located library in Ireland once completed.

One of the key aspects of the Academic Hub will be that it will incorporate the historic building now known as the North House into the design. First constructed between 1848 – 1854 to the designs of Murray & Denny, the original use of the North House was as the Male Wards of the Richmond Lunatic Asylum. It continued as part of the hospital when it became St Brendan’s Hospital before falling into disrepair around 1995 and was no longer used.

In the Grangegorman Masterplan, this building is referred to as the ‘Top House’. The building was adapted for reuse over 2014 ahead of the arrival of the first TU Dublin students in September of that year and the building was renamed as the North House.

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Studios, workshops & exhibition spaces in the North House today

The Adaptive Reuse of the North House brought the building back into temporary use for the TU Dublin School of Creative Arts. This project included installing photographic darkrooms, sculpture and print workshops, and art and design studios whilst maintaining as many of the old building features as possible. Over the course of this project the contractor uncovered an underground staircase leading to a well with a hand pump which dates back to around the 1870s. This was recovered temporarily until the development of the Academic Hub gets underway.

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Underground well and cast iron pump discovered                                    North House Annex

The North House Annex is the only remaining old building on the Grangegorman site that is not a protected structure. This is due to a fire that occurred in the 1960s which completely destroyed the roof and the top floor of the building. The Annex was built as an extension for the Richmond District Asylum around 1910 and has been adapted for reuse as lecture space and academic offices. This building has been removed as part of the Academic Hub project, however much of the stone is kept and reintegrated into the Grangegorman campus as it develops.



Phase 1 of The Academic Hub Library Complex is due to be completed in Spring 2023.

Procurement Route

Restricted two-stage process for a Main Contractor

Design Team

O’Donnell + Tuomey (Academic Hub)