As part of DCU’s 2016-2021 Campus Development Plan the main mall or “public realm” on the Glasnevin Campus has been completed.
The mall public amenity space that stretches from the Henry Grattan building to the U has been under construction since November 2018. This development has been specifically designed to complement the new U building by providing a more pedestrian friendly route to the new campus store, Londis, the Sports Centre and on campus student accommodation.
The public realm’s new features include 9,000m2 of developed public amenities with native semi mature trees and new shrubs. Cross tracking paths have been paved to help the flow of foot traffic to specific destinations.
The space also includes new bike railings and an assortment of coloured benches, some which are fitted with USB ports for charging mobile devices and tablets.
As well as the Mall, the Business School Square and the South Access Road were also included in the 2016-2021 Campus Development plan which the University committed a considerable investment.
The mall has seen a more dramatic renovation in comparison to the Business School Square which has only been developed by cross tracking paths. The Stokes Building still has wire construction barriers constricting the traffic flow at its entrance.
For a large amount of students the majority of their university experience has been on a construction site with the daily appearance of hard hats and JCBs. Third year Media & English student Niamh Martin said “ we had to hang out in the canteen – we didn’t have the U.
But now this space is the centre of the campus, you’re not in NuBar, the canteen or in a lecture hall, we have this space outdoors.”
Second year Communication student Andrew Gibbons said “I’m lucky that I only started when the U first opened, and honestly I don’t see how the campus functions without it, I think new students will say the same about the outside space next year.”
The new campus store facing the public realm mall is encouraging students to use this outdoor space. Among its t-shirts, reusable cups and soap merchandise, the campus store is selling DCU branded flying frisbees to students.
Weather permitting, students have been making use of the new space, resulting in the canteen becoming a quieter environment as students have somewhere else to socialise. Although the frisbee trend is yet to catch on.
Image Credit: Sonja Tutty