Regional Library, Ireland

  • arts
  • commercial
  • community
  • retail

Our proposals for an International design competition for the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Central Library Headquarters and Cultural Centre, seek a poetic harmony between the immediate site context and the greater landscape, reinforcing the distinct character of the area to create a space to inspire and delight in.

The building form, a sensitive response to the immediate built context, rises towards the sea, affording panoramic views of the Dun Laoghaire coastline. This gesture seeks to enhance and celebrate the sea-front through a succinct and contemporary formal composition, whilst the shimmering external stone façade evokes the aesthetic qualities of the sea or the scales of a fish, reinforcing the unique sense of place and locality. This aesthetic treatment is further explored through the juxtaposition of expansive glazing and dark heavy cladding which gives the impression of a floating mass and imbuing the proposals with a sense of weightlessness and drama.

The human and vehicular interaction with the site forms a critical part of our design proposals, utilising the external landscaping to embrace the desire lines of pedestrian movement, encouraging movement around the site and inviting people to engage with the building. Boundaries between internal and external space are blurred as both the spaces catalyse the characteristics of the other, forming a unified design strategy. The angular, dynamic internal layout explores the concepts of spatial compression and expansion challenging the users perception of the different spaces and inviting exploration through intrigue.

This entry forms part of our continually expanding portfolio of cultural buildings and was exhibited in the Architecture Gallery of the RIAI in 2008.