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Projects 2005 - 2010
12 of 39
Dundalk, Co. Louth
Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland / Best Conservation / Restoration Project
Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland / Best Educational Building - Highly Commended
Royal Institute of British Architects / Regional Award - EU
CMG Awards / Sustainability Award
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The original building which was completed in 1970 has received architectural recognition as one of Irelands finest modern industrial buildings designed in a Miesian style, and is a designated protected structure. In 2001 PJ Carrolls Ltd announced its decision to cease production of cigarette manufacturing and the following year Dundalk Institute of Technology acquired the building. The challenge was to provide new teaching and administrative accommodation for the departments of Informatics and Creative Arts without compromising the existing architectural integrity of the building. The brief included classrooms, PC laboratories, lecture theatres, radio studios, sound studios, film studio, screening rooms, dark rooms, recital rooms, music performance rooms and associated student and staff facilities.
The original concept for the building was of a repetitive free standing structural bay which was supported at each corner. This concept allowed the architects in 2005 to raise three existing bays without interfering with the adjoining bays, thus creating office accommodation over two stories. Due to the deep plan nature of the building, rooflights were introduced to bring light and ventilation into the heart of the building.The circulation routes were aligned with the gridlines of the building which gave the overall internal planning a strong discipline. Extensive conservation works were carried out and these included analysis of the brickwork and steelwork in order to establish best practice. Modification to the envelope consisted of removing the brick panels adjacent to each column and replacing them with glazing.
Sustainability was a key consideration of the design. The aim was to upgrade the building to contemporary standards of environmental design with a focus on thermal comfort and energy conservation. There was a substantial emphasis on the use of renewable energy systems, for example, the Institute’s wind turbine is being used to create ice banks at off peak times. Other strategies include a naturally lit and naturally ventilated social and performance space, a wintergarden, and three office atrium spaces. Windcatchers are employed to bring natural ventilation into the building.A good air tightness requirement was achieved and energy efficient lighting with sensor controls was used throughout the building.