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. 

Following an open Architectural Design Competition, Carr Cotter Naessens Architects were announced as the winning competition team for the project. The appointment is the culmination of an open and inclusive procurement process for this project, which has set ambitious design targets in response to the Climate Crisis.

Carr Cotter Naessens Architects’ Competition Team includes; Moloney O’Beirne Architects, Punch Consulting Engineers (structural & civil), Murphy Façade Studio (facades), Brady Shipman Martin (landscape), Prochem (laboratory specialist) and Chris Mee Group (PSDP). A separately procured Technical Team now completes the FOCAS Design Team, comprising; RPS (Building services engineering & sustainability), Duke McCaffrey (cost control, project management & life cycle assessment) and Maurice Johnson & Partners (fire safety consultant).


The competition was held in two stages, and sought entries from architects of all backgrounds.

Entrants submitted a wide variety of design ideas as shown below.


  • Stage I Submissions

    Stage I entries shown as follows:

    ROW 1: Ronan Murray + Emily Cavanagh; Allies & Morrison with Cullen Payne Architects; Hall McKnight Architects

    ROW 2: Lawrence & Long Architects; Donnelly Turpin Architects; Groupwork

    ROW 3: TODD Architects; Kavanagh Tuite Architects; Serie Architects

    ROW 4: IDOM; GKMP Architects; Jack O Kelly Architects

    ROW 5: Scullion Architects; ABK; ARROW Architects

    ROW 6: David Slattery Architects; AP+E; Scott Tallon Walker Architects

    ROW 7: RKD Architects; Brock Finucane Architects; Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

    ROW 8: Plus Architecture; Cooney Architects; Shay Cleary Architects

    ROW 9: Architecture00; Keith Williams Architects; Mahoney Architecture

    ROW 10: FCB Studios; Perkins & Will; Jestico & Whiles;

    ROW 11: Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects; Mullarkey Pedersen Architects














  • Stage II Submissions

    From a longlist of 40 entries, 5 teams were shortlisted for Stage 2 of the competition:

    • A2 Architects;
    • Carr Cotter Naessens Architects;
    • Clancy Moore Architects;
    • Heneghan Peng Architects; and
    • John McLaughlin Architects.

    A2 Architects



    Carr Cotter Naessens Architects



    Clancy Moore Architects



    Heneghan Peng Architects



    John McLaughlin Architects