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Níall McLaughlin’s global rugby centre starts on site as World Cup gears up

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The first phase of construction has started on Níall McLaughlin Architects’ €10 million International Rugby Experience Museum in Limerick, Ireland

Later this week 20 nations will begin battling it out in the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which is being held in Japan.

McLaughlin’s 2,250m² scheme in O’Connell Street is being billed as a ‘new cultural centre and visitor attraction’ for rugby fans from around the world and aims to ‘reinvigorate the city centre, complement the existing local arts and heritage attractions and forge links with Munster rugby’.

The seven-storey 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.

The project is due for completion in 2021.

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Mezzanine. First phase of construction starts (September 2019) on Niall McLaughlin Architects’ International Rugby Experience in Limerick

Mezzanine. First phase of construction starts (September 2019) on Niall McLaughlin Architects’ International Rugby Experience in Limerick

Architect’s view

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Modelmaking. First phase of construction starts (September 2019) on Niall McLaughlin Architects’ International Rugby Experience in Limerick

Modelmaking

The design approach was to consider this as a special civic building rather than a townhouse. 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.

Project data

Location O’Connell Street, Limerick
Type of project Cultural
Client Rugby World Experience
Architect Níall McLaughlin Architects
Planning consultant Town & Country Resources
Structural engineer Punch Consulting
M&E consultant Metec
Quantity surveyor Engage PMS
Project manager Engage PMS
Project supervisor for the design process Aegis Safety
Lighting consultant Not applicable
Enabling works contractor O’Kelly Bros
Exhibition Design – EVENT Communications
Main contractor To be confirmed
Funding Private
Tender date October 2019
Start on site date (main contract works) January 2020
Completion date Summer 2021
Contract duration 18 months
Gross internal floor area 2,250m²
Form of contract and/or procurement two-stage tender, traditional
Annual CO2 emissions Unknown

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The first phase of construction starts (September 2019) on Niall McLaughlin Architects’ International Rugby Experience

Section - render. First phase of construction starts (September 2019) on Niall McLaughlin Architects’ International Rugby Experience in Limerick

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