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Work starts on Keith Williams’ cultural hub in west Ireland

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Construction has started on a new cultural centre in Ennis, County Clare, Republic of Ireland, designed by Keith Williams Architects 

The London-based practice won the go-ahead in early 2018 for the Clare County Council Library project, a 2,300m² scheme for the local authority which will adjoin the town’s existing 2001-built Glór Theatre.

Due to complete next summer, the development will add a new county library, offices for the administration of county-wide library services, and a small contemporary art gallery.

A sinuous, 10m-high masonry wall will provide the outer skin to the library and art gallery, creating a new civic frontage.

Rooflights and sidelight glazed slots will bring daylight into the heart of the plan, according to the practice, and ‘incident windows’ will connect the interior with the exterior.

Keith Williams, the firm’s founder and director of design, said: ’This is a very important moment in the genesis of this project. By placing the new County Library and Art Gallery immediately abutting Glór [designed by Gilroy McMahon Architects], a new cultural nexus will be created uniting the three primary colours of the arts – the visual, the literary and performing arts – all in a single complex.

He added: ’I am very proud of the designs that we have created and I am confident that over the course of the next two years, a beautiful new public building will arise on this site offering outstanding library facilities to the people of Ennis and the region.’

275 clare cultural centre interior

275 clare cultural centre interior

Project data

Location Ennis, County Clare, Ireland
Local authority Clare County Council
Type of project County library and art gallery
Client Clare County Council
Architect Keith Williams Architects
Landscape architect Nicholas de Jong Urban Design
Structural engineer Arup
M&E consultant Axiseng Consulting Engineers
Quantity surveyor AECOM
CDM adviser/PSDP OLM Consultancy
Main contractor Keating
Funding Department of Rural and Community Development; Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government; European Regional Development Fund (2014-2020); Clare County Council
Tender date February 2019
Start on site 6 January 2020
Completion July 2021
Contract duration 18 months
Gross internal floor area 2,321m²
Form of contract Irish Public Works Contract PW – CF1
Annual CO2 emissions 22 kg/m²

275 axo cutaway

275 axo cutaway

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