Wicklow County Council – Public Library, Greystones, Ireland

4700 sq ft renovation and addition to a historically listed Carnegie library dating from 1911.This new library houses a reading room, exhibition space, a children’s section with play area, staff areas and public toilets.

The original single-story Greystones library sits on a wonderful site that abuts a beach and expansive coastline. It is cut off from this amenity and view by a busy railway line. To overcome this barrier and to reconnect the building to the sea in this historic fishing village, we built a 2nd floor addition located above the rail line with clear and direct views of the beach through a timber-framed glass wall. This contemporary addition housed the reading room and exhibition space and was clad in well crafted oxidized copper to withstand the coastal weather and to echo the original copper cupola in the building. With the introduction of supplemental steel frame supports, flat ceilings were removed from the original building and the original timber roof structure was exposed. We exploited the volumes created by the two pitched roofs especially where they crossed to create a pyramid-like volume under the cupola. Additional natural light was provided with a line of circular bubble skylights.

This project received an LAMA award as one best public buildings constructed In Ireland in 2010.