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IMMA in partnership with Matheson LLP, announced Studio Makkink & Bey, as the winning practice for the creation of the new community space at IMMA, the Matheson Creativity Hub in Memory of Tim Scanlon. Alongside the winning practice, two highly commended designs were selected by the panel: Diogo Passarinho Studio (D_P_S) and borien & Ben Mullen.

The Matheson Creativity Hub will be a prominent space that is activated by IMMA’s Engagement & Learning Department, Visitor Engagement Team, community groups, creative partners, and artists, as well as a space for audiences to dwell and explore on their own. It will be an innovative reimagining of convivial space that invites exceptional architecture and design to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment that allows for experimentation, supports creative engagement, and social connectivity for audiences of all ages. The project will be implemented in two stages; the design competition from February 2023, where visitors will be able to view the proposed designs until 2 April 2023, followed by the procurement and implementation of the winning project throughout 2023 and early 2024. The six practices showcased are: AB Projects & Atelier Rae; borien & Ben Mullen; Broken Fields; Diogo Passarinho Studio (D_P_S); Resolve; and Studio Makkink & Bey.

Since July 2020, in response to the public’s need for access to open spaces where communities could safely meet, enjoy the outdoors and promote physical and mental wellbeing, IMMA introduced IMMA Outdoors, a summer programme of free activities, performances, classes, commissions and events. IMMA has shown innovation and leadership in this space, continually scaling the project by introducing architectural interventions and creating a unique artistic vernacular across the IMMA site, revitalising the Museum’s role as a radically public space for our local communities to engage freely with culture. 

Now, in a new iteration of the partnership with Matheson, the Museum intends to build on the success of IMMA Outdoors by developing an ambitious permanent convivial engagement space for audiences of all ages, bridging the gap between the ‘green cube’ of the site and the ‘white cube’ of the galleries. 

The Matheson Creativity Hub will be located on the ground floor of the east wing of the main building of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8. The historic nature of the building means that the structural integrity of the building cannot be impacted by this project and applicants are asked to keep their proposals to interior/domestic design. 

The space that has been identified for the Matheson Creativity Hub will consist of three intersecting rooms, formerly known as the Project Spaces, which are accessible both from the main reception of the Museum and open out into the courtyard. This relationship between the outdoors or ‘green cube’ of the site and the ‘white cube’ of the galleries is a key point of interest. The architects/ artists/ designers, referred to throughout this document as ‘the artists’, are asked to consider flexible design elements which can be easily moved between the Hub and the courtyard, and possibly other locations around the site.   

About Tim Scanlon

Tim Scanlon – 1965 to 2020

We are delighted to dedicate this space to the memory of Matheson’s former Chairman Tim Scanlon (1965–2020) who championed both New Art and Irish Art at IMMA and was an IMMA Board Member (2016–2020). Matheson has made a significant contribution to the cultural landscape in Ireland and has worked with IMMA since 2015, supporting over 50 artists through new commissions and major international exhibitions. This long–standing relationship was driven by our shared friend and colleague Tim Scanlon.

One of the most skilled and experienced corporate lawyers in Ireland, Tim joined IMMA’s Board in 2016 and brought with him invaluable expertise and a genuine passion for art. Tim was an enthusiastic and committed advocate for IMMA. Despite his busy professional life, Tim volunteered to support colleagues in a range of areas across the museum, played a vital role in securing sponsorship and directed us well as an integral member of IMMA Board. Tim was appointed to the IMMA Collections and Acquisitions Committee in 2019, becoming Chair in 2020.

About Matheson

Matheson LLP (“Matheson”) is the law firm of choice for internationally-focused companies and financial institutions doing business in and from Ireland. Matheson employs over 800 people across its six offices, including 121 partners and tax principals, and 540 legal, tax and digital services professionals. 

Matheson’s history began in 1825, when it started as a small legal firm in Dublin’s city centre. Having survived the destruction of its offices during the Easter Rising of 1916, the firm grew steadily in size and influence over the course of the following decades. In line with Matheson’s strategy of providing expert services to its international clients, it has invested heavily in developing an international network. Matheson was one of the first Irish law firms to open a dedicated office in London in 1989, and was the very first European firm to open an office in Silicon Valley in 1996. Today, Matheson has six partner-led offices in Dublin, Cork, London, New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco. 

Matheson’s standards of client care have been built on the implementation of a clear client-focused strategy; a commitment to legal excellence; and the calibre of its legal and business services professionals. Matheson’s core values of partnership, respect, innovation, diversity and entrepreneurship characterise the collective dynamic of the firm, allowing its people to achieve the highest standards as legal professionals and advisers to its clients. 

Matheson strives to make a meaningful difference to its clients, its people and the communities in which it operates. The Matheson Impactful Business Programme (IBP) brings together the firm’s diversity and inclusion (D&I), corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability and arts activities into one dedicated programme with a single vision to deliver and support meaningful, sustainable and measurable change. Complemented by Matheson’s pro bono initiatives and employee wellbeing programme, the IBP facilitates impactful partnerships with clients and other organisations working together in areas of shared interest and empowers and encourages everyone at Matheson to make a positive impact in the community. 

IMMA & Matheson Partnership

Matheson has made a significant contribution to IMMA since 2015 supporting both New Art and Irish Art at IMMA. Matheson has made an important contribution to the cultural landscape in Ireland and has worked with IMMA supporting over 50 artists through both new commissions and major international exhibitions. The partnership is now moving into a new phase to realise this visionary project which is in memory of Tim Scanlon, Chairman of Matheson and Board Member of IMMA.

Showcase Participants

AB Projects & Atelier Rae – AB Projects is an award winning design studio based in Dublin, working across interior, furniture and architectural design for private & commercial clients. AB projects also delivers & manages the production and delivery of works, with a production facility also based in Dublin.

The supporting architect on this project submission is Atelier Rae, the architecture and design studio led by award-winning architect and artist Rae Moore.

borien & Ben Mullen – borien is a design/build studio specializing in creative and thoughtful designs for furniture and interior spaces. borien works with retail and residential clients alike. All furniture pieces are designed and built by hand, in house.

A husband and wife team, Eoin and Robin, have been collaborating together after meeting at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. They began working in Film and Fashion in Toronto and in 2018, moved to Ireland where they have received two IDI awards for their furniture and interior designs.

borien collaborated with Irish architect Ben Mullen, whose practice Ben Mullen Architects was established in 2020 and in 2022 was awarded the inaugural RIAI CCI Eileen Gray Fellowship. He is a visiting critic at schools of architecture in Ireland and the UK and contributes regularly to international journals of architecture and design.

Broken Fields – A multi-disciplinary collective made up of individual practitioners Louise Harrington, Enya Moore, Aideen O’ Donovan and Kate O’ Shea. Broken Fields brings together experience, knowledge, and practice from the fields of socially engaged art, architecture, community work, activism, research, and writing.

The name Broken Fields refers to the breaking down of disciplines, siloes, and fields. In the breaking down of these constructed boundaries, Broken Fields brings together the strengths of diverse practices in processes, projects and spaces that are deeply place-based. @broken_fields

Diogo Passarinho Studio (D_P_S) – A research-based design studio, founded in 2015 by Diogo Passarinho, investigating how emotional contexts can be brought into shaping spatial memories. This means that more than just the physical scale of the project, D_P_S delves deep into what creating space entails. Art, Theory, and a community of Artists and Thinkers is the medium that the studio uses to explore and develop what they call “emotional landscapes”. They try to design spaces that live in our memories and most likely will outlive the short life expectancies of some projects.

The studio’s work has been showcased across the world, including at the Venice Biennale, Gwangju Biennale, Baltic Triennial, Hayward Gallery, Palais De Tokyo, Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Oslo National Museum, Van Abbemuseum.

Resolve – Is an interdisciplinary design collective that combines architecture, engineering, technology and art to address social challenges. We have delivered numerous projects, workshops, publications, and talks in the UK and across Europe, all of which look toward realising just and equitable visions of change in our built environment.

Much of their work aims to provide platforms for the production of new knowledge and ideas, whilst collaborating and organising to help build resilience in our communities. This means designing with and for young people and under-represented groups in society. For Resolve ‘design’ includes both physical and systemic intervention, exploring ways of using a project’s site as a resource and working with different communities as stakeholders in the short and long-term management of projects.

Their portfolio includes works across the UK and Europe, including the redesign of Brixton Bridge, residencies with galleries including S1 Artspace Sheffield, V&A East, Wellcome Collection, De Le Warr Pavilion, and a recent commission for a gallery design at MARKK Museum, Hamburg.

Resolve Collective’s showcase submission is in collaboration with Birmingham design studio, Intervention Architecture.

Studio Makkink & Bey – Is a studio led by designer-architect Rianne Makkink and designer Jurgen Bey. The studio works in various domains of applied art and includes public space projects, product design, architecture, exhibition design and applied arts. Supported by a design team, they have been operating their design practice since 2002.

The ambition of Studio Makkink & Bey is to see the role of the designer expanded to the most strategic function possible. To this end, their design team includes professionals from many different fields of knowledge; forming alliances with other designers, architects and experts. Their past projects include work with the Theatre Kunstmin 2014, the Rotterdam 2015, and their self-initiated project, the WaterSchool.