Project Overview


University of Galway


RIAI Award for Conservation, RIAI Public Choice Award 2017

The project involved the refurbishment of an original protected structure to provide accommodation for the School of Drama in the University of Galway and was carried out in association with Richard Murphy Architects.

The project is treated as a ‘building within a building’ with careful insertion of modern elements into the original fabric, giving new academic and cultural life to what were formerly simple industrial sheds.

The insertion of a new circular form of theatre into the original rectangular fabric, utilises some careful positioning of mirrored surfaces, to allow the circular form to ‘float’ independent of the original fabric. Similarly, the external glazing is conceived as a sliding separate plane, which flows past the thick limestone external wall which contains the history of its former usage in its varied apertures.

Pared back materials and textures of polished concrete, exposed stone and original roof members contrast with the modern insertions. A protected structure, this building won the RIAI award for conservation and RIAI Public Choice Award 2017.