The Swan Centre in Rathmines previously did not engage with its southern elevation on to Castlewood Avenue. Our proposal was to create a new commercial elevation complete with café terrace, new kiosk shops and a higher profile entrance to the centre. By re-designing the internal layout of the shops and creating one large food anchor shop we sought to balance the retail offering within the centre. The previously underused surface carpark presented an underwhelming elevation to the centre and by infilling this space with new shops we have sought to improve both the retail environment and the public realm.
A dramatic double-height space forms the entrance to a new destination food shop and restaurant, and a vertical rhythm of light posts carries a canopy to form a porous interface between the recessed dining space and the enhanced public realm of the street. The south-facing terrace for the cafe is sunken below the level of the footpath and surrounded by planting to give it a sheltered and sunny aspect.
Access to existing apartments is maintained at both ends of the new intervention to further increase the permeability of the overall scheme.