The new Research, Development and Innovation Building is located to the West of the existing principle campus Nore & Slaney buildings on The Institute of Technology Carlow Campus, Kilkenny Road, Carlow.
The brief for the design of the new building was to integrate the specialist facilities required for the research programme for each department with ancillary office and seminar space as well as undergraduate lecture and seminar rooms. In delivering this, the new building should also become the cornerstone for generating a new image and approach to the Institute from the Kilkenny Road.
Scott Tallon Walker first generated a masterplan for a New Pedestrian Entrance, and Landscaping Scheme addressing the Kilkenny Road. This will be developed and completed as part of the next development on the campus, the New Library Extension.
In responding to the brief, STW looked to generate “added value” by creating shared spaces in the heart of the building for teaching, learning and discussion. On the Kilkenny Road (west side) of the new multi-level concourse, deep, clear span flexible space is created to provide the specialist facilities for each department, whereas on the college (east side), office, write up and study areas are accommodated in shallower naturally ventilated spaces. The concourse itself allows clear visibility between the floors. It brings natural light into the heart of the building and encourages interaction between the occupants. It houses seating areas for casual interaction and also the main lift which serves each floor, providing service access and ensuring all areas of the building are fully accessible.
The second floor is principally focused on Envirocore and consists of primary biological research laboratory space with support facilities including preparation areas, cold and growth rooms, instrumentation lab, tissue culture etc.
The write-up/office space located on the shallow side of the concourse has clear visibility to the lab space ensuring good visual connection and an intimate and convenient relationship for the scientists at work.
The first floor is principally directed towards the research work of Game Core and Design Core. Specialist rooms house the post-graduate research, support comms rooms, B & H research, health sciences, incubation 1 and 2 for Design Core and a shared multi-media space encourages interaction and maximises the usability of the facilities. Again clear visibility across the atrium/concourse ensures integration and the shared coffee/social area will encourage social contact.
The Ground Floor Level contains 2 lecture theatres, 2 classrooms and seminar rooms which open directly from the concourse to accommodate the student numbers coming and going from their lectures. The narrower side each of the concourse accommodates industry incubator space and administration.
Overall the building is clad in a cream limestone to match the Barrow Centre and features very large angled windows overlooking the beautiful Barrow and its special area of conservation. From the interior these provide a special feature giving a unique character to the research spaces of the Dargan Centre. The building is designed to the latest building regulation standards and achieves exemplary thermal, air tightness and other sustainability standards.
Urban Design & Planning
The initial masterplan established urban design principles regarding urban form, building heights, mix of use, quality of public realm and environmental and social sustainability.
These principles were then developed in more detail with the 2008 ‘Atlantic Quarter’ development of the eastern area. STW collaborated with Urban Strategies from Toronto on the overall urban design principles, relating to mix of uses, urban form and public realm and prepared design proposals for many of the buildings. This mixed-use scheme proposed a new waterside skyline with an attractive composition of office, hotel and residential buildings and a major new cultural and event destination in the form of the Cork Arena combining gallery, performance, and conference and exhibition space.
Institute of Technology Carlow