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Níall McLaughlin gets go-ahead for global centre for rugby


Níall McLaughlin Architects has won permission to build a new cultural centre and visitor attraction in Limerick, Ireland, for rugby fans from around the world 

According to the practice the €10 million International Rugby Experience Museum in O’Connell Street will ‘reinvigorate the city centre, complement the existing local arts and heritage attractions and forge links with Munster rugby’.

The brick-clad building will sit on a tight urban site on the edge of a conservation area within Limerick’s Georgian Quarter.

The International Rugby Experience is chaired by former Ireland, Munster and Lions captain Paul O’Connell and is supported by local businessman and philanthropist JP McManus.

Construction on the 2,110m² scheme is due to start on site in 2019.

Nmla limerick ire aerial view

Nmla limerick ire aerial view

Architect’s view

The design approach was to consider this as a special civic building rather than a townhouse and the architectural proposals were developed through research into historic civic buildings set in Georgian streetscapes, referencing the scale of churches and civic halls.

The building is crowned with a public hall at the top. A grand entrance portico addresses the main street, providing shelter and creating a public space below where visitors gather and fans can meet on match days. Both inside and out, structural forces will be expressed through brick and concrete detailing to create a building that reflects some of the forces found in the game of rugby.

The structure and brick expression should provide a tangible link to the building’s function and will be key to the visitor experience.

Nmla limerick ire lantern exterior 1

Nmla limerick ire lantern exterior 1

Project data

Location Limerick, Ireland
Type of project Cultural
Client Rugby World Experience Limited
Architect Níall McLaughlin Architects
Planning Consultant Town & Country Resources
Project Manager & QS Engage PMS
Heritage Consultant Consarc
Structural & Civil Engineer Punch Consulting
M&E Engineer Metec Consulting Engineers
Experience Designers Event Communications
Fire Consultant CK Fire Engineering
Start on Site Date 2019
Gross Internal Floor Area 2,110m²
Form of Contract Traditional
Cost Undisclosed

Nmla limerick ire public hall interior

Nmla limerick ire public hall interior


Readers' comments (2)

  • Not sure the “build it and they will come” philosophy that made the baseball-diamond-in-the-boondocks successful in Kevin Costner’s film, “Field of Dreams” is going to bring crowds of Rugby worshippers to a box atop some offices in Limerick.

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  • Not sure what this has to do with rugby but then you don't appoint Niall McLaughlin to come up with something simplistic.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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