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Keith Williams’ Athlone Art Gallery opens

[First look + plans] Keith Williams Architects’ new €3.4 million Luan Gallery overlooking the River Shannon in Athlone, Ireland has officially opened

The 600m² project next to the the neo-Baroque Church of St Peter and St Paul (1932-1939) has extended and refurbished the Father Matthew Hall (1897) - a former temperance hall.

This is Williams’ third commission in Athlone, having already completed the Athlone Civic Centre and Library in 2004 and the town’s Army Memorial in 2010.

The architect’s view

The palette of materials for the new gallery wing is limited to rough cut horizontal strips of limestone of varying widths asserting the mass of the new wing. Zinc clad roof lanterns will be set back from the parapet wall to allow the limestone to have prominence in the facade, whilst centralising the light penetrating into the gallery.The Father Matthew Hall will be re-rendered and re-roofed in slate,  retaining externally the essence of its historical character, whilst internally it will be stripped back to its bare walls and roof structure.

Project data

Client: Athlone Town Council
Architect: Keith Williams Architects
Structural Engineer: ARUP
Mech & Electrical Engineer: Axis Engineering;
Suppliers: Fantech Ventiliation
PSDP:: OLM
Quantity Surveyor:: Mulcahy McDonagh & Partners
Main Contractor: Purcell
Area: 115m2 gallery within the former Father Matthew Hall open to the roof structure; 145m2 “white box” Gallery space within the new wing

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