Best Public Building
Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland
Commissioners of Irish Lights
Our client sought a building of exceptional design quality which reflected their ethos of innovation and would be worthy of the spectacular waterfront site within the historic harbour of Dun Laoghaire, some 10 km south of Dublin city.
The new building unites their engineering and workshops with head office, technical and administrative accommodation. The design links two distinct forms, circular headquarters and rectangular workshops. The highly glazed, circular office building is sheathed in a double-skin façade which maximises daylight and views while providing a thermal and acoustic buffer. A distinctive central lantern provides abundant natural light into the building’s core while subtly evoking the maritime beacons traditionally operated by CIL.
CIL has pioneered the use of sustainable and renewable technologies in its navigational aids and insisted that their new headquarters should reflect this culture by minimising energy consumption.
Photovoltaic cells are integrated with external solar shading, generating electricity to power fan-assisted natural ventilation. A seawater heat exchanger circulates cooled water through exposed concrete slabs, further moderating internal conditions.
This very low energy building reflects the top-down ethos and aspirations of CIL while providing excellent practical facilities from which to fulfil their mission to keep the sea routes open, safe and operating efficiently.