2006 - 2007
Glenageary, Co. Dublin
St. Paul's Select Vestry
Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland / Best Public Building - Highly Commended
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The existing church building was built in 1868 in the neo gothic style that was popular at that time. It has since been extended three times, with the last extension completed in 1913. In 1912, the parish completed its Parochial Hall, further down Adelaide Road, using the popular Arts and Crafts style. However, it was noted at that time that the distance between the church and hall was less than desirable.
In 1996, a decision was taken by the parish to again review the placing of its community centre on the site of the church. However, with the church being a Protected Structure located in an Architectural Conservation Area, the planning process took some time, with construction commencing in spring 2006.
The new parish centre is, again, a building of its time – designed using modern materials with classic proportions. The external finishes of painted aluminium and cedar panelling, seek to respect the dominant position of the church in its parkland setting, yet allow the centre to have its own identity. The uses of the building are expressed in its form – the larger muti-use hall, for badminton, bowls as well as social functions, the glazed entrance atrium that interconnects the two main volumes, and the smaller element accommodating meeting rooms and welfare facilities, all with changing rooms, plant areas and workshops in the basement.
The granite walls and high windows of the church create a private and respectful interior, whereas the main spaces within the new centre have full height glass walls opening onto the landscaped grounds, so inviting the participation of all. The external spaces flow into the interiors, with the finishes and architecture being as one.