Tyndall National Institute - Phase 3 'Kiln Building'

Tyndall National Institute - Phase 3 'Kiln Building'

The ‘Kiln’ building forms part of the Lee Maltings site, home to the Tyndall Institute for over thirty years. The whole site is historically significant, facing directly onto the River Lee and designated as a protected structure. The Kiln building was originally a Malting Kiln built in 1903 and is now re-imagined, creating open collaborative space for scientific research whilst being a high energy performance building.


UCC / Tyndall National Institute

550 m²

Cork, Ireland

In Use



Sustainability (Commendation)
RIAI Architecture Awards

Energy In Building Award
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland


Client  UCC / Tyndall National Institute

Location  Cork, Ireland

Status  In Use

Area  550 m²

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The ‘Kiln’ building is a red brick building and a protected structure, just over 100 years old. The project involved a deep renovation to create modern 21st century research accommodation. A bold intervention on the west façade brings light, air and full height views of the river Lee to the interior. The goal was to optimise the building capacity whilst transforming the dark spaces into light filled environments. The retention of the existing fabric, with bold modern interventions sits comfortably within the overall site, adding to the inherent architectural interest of the whole and reflecting the culture of Tyndall.

Interior Design

The internal design which was evolved working closely with the end users creates an open bright environment, with local breakout spaces, private cellular space and meeting pods. Natural oak floors and acoustic wainscot paneling work with the suspended raft ceilings to provide a warm and fresh environment with excellent acoustics. The goal was to promote core values of wellness, sustainability and encouraging scientific interaction.

Urban Design & Planning

The agreement and cooperation of Cork City Council and, and in particular the conservation department were fundamental to the design. The impact on views from across the river beautifully expresses the contrast between the advanced 21st Century research activity of Tyndall and the history of the Maltings Complex.


A full Energy Efficient Design process started at concept design stage. The Kiln Building has achieved an BER A3 rating, the first protected structure (100 years old) to do so, in the country. This has been achieved without the benefit of renewables and the project is now an exemplar for the many similar buildings of this era which need to be updated to achieve today's carbon standards. Smart building technology was a key component of the design and smart sensors were used in the lighting along with demand control on heat, light, power, and ventilation. Energy use is also monitored in real time.


The exterior brickwork was fully repointed in accordance with conservation best-practice. Internally, walls were insulated and dry lined using a breathable system. Fine, dark coloured, thermally broken steel windows replaced the existing (not original) softwood windows, the building was re-roofed with insulation and roofing felt installed before existing slates were reinstated, with new matching added where necessary.

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