Clare County Library, Ennis Building, Irish Building Project News, Images

Clare County Library, Ennis

New Architectural Development – design by Keith Williams Architects in Ireland

10 Feb 2020

Clare County Library Building Construction

Location: Ennis, County Clare, Republic of Ireland

Design: Keith Williams Architects, London

Construction has started on the new Clare County Library in Ennis, Co Clare, in south-west Ireland.

Designed by Keith Williams Architects, the new 2,300m2 project for client Clare County Council has been conceived as a new cultural hub for the town and the region. It will abut the town’s existing Glór Theatre (2001) adding the new County Library and a small contemporary Art Gallery.

Clare County Library Ennis building design
images courtesy of architects

The main library over two floors is wrapped in an undulating curved façade that locks the project into the site geometry and gives the project its unique identity. The county library service is placed in a simple bar of accommodation above the library and the art gallery sits on the opposite side of the main entrance in its own cubic form.

Clare County Library Ennis Building

When complete its new main entrance will form a single gateway to the literary, visual and performing arts contained within the complex.

Clare County Library Ennis Building

Cllr Cathal Crowe Mayor of County Clare said ….”this is a new chapter for the public library service in Clare and I look forward to seeing the construction advance to completion in two years time”.

Clare County Library Ennis Building

Helen Walsh : County Librarian said….”Clare has always been to the forefront of library innovation and it is fitting that a 21st century library will be delivered for the citizens of Ennis and the county. It is exciting to think that by the end of 2021 – this new library will be standing in an embracing arm around Glór helping to showcase the best of what is on offer in the county in the visual, literary and performing arts”.

Clare County Library Ennis Building

Ruth Hurley : Senior Executive Architect at Clare County Council commented ‘’The incorporation of a new civic building and library service in the town of Ennis is anticipated to contribute significantly to the enhancement of the public realm, enlivening the streetscape and providing an accessible and sustainable building for the users whilst addressing the growing demands on library services in County Clare’’.

Clare County Library Ennis Building

Keith Williams, the firm’s founder and director of design stated,

“This is a very important day in the genesis of this project. By placing the new County Library and Art Gallery immediately abutting Glór, a new cultural nexus will be created uniting the 3 primary colours of the arts – the visual, the literary and performing arts – all in a single complex.

I am very proud of the designs that we have created and I am confident that over the course of the next 2 years, a beautiful new public building will arise on this site offering outstanding library facilities to the people of Ennis and the region.”

Clare County Library Ennis building

Client: Clare County Council, Social Development Directorate, Library Services

The Team working with Keith Williams Architects on the project include:

ARUP: Structural and Civil Engineers
AxisEng: MEP Engineer
AECOM: Cost Consultancy
OLM: PSDP
Keating: Main Contractor

Client Team:
Director: Anne Haugh
Project Coordinator: Helen Walsh, County Librarian
Project Manager: Ruth Hurley, Senior Executive Architect

Clare County Library Ennis Building

The project is funded by:

Dept. of Rural and Community Development
Dept. of Housing, Planning and Local Government
European Regional Development Fund (2014-2020)
Clare County Council

24 Mar 2018

Clare County Library, Ennis Building

Location: Ennis, Co. Clare, Republic of Ireland

Design: Keith Williams Architects

Clare County Library in Ennis

The new Clare County Library, designed by Keith Williams Architects in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland has been granted planning consent.

The new 2,300m2 project for client Clare County Council, has been conceived as a new cultural hub for the town and the region. It will abut the town’s existing Glór Theatre (2001) adding the new County Library and a small contemporary Art Gallery. When complete its new main entrance will form a gateway to the literary, visual and performing arts contained within.

Clare County Library, Ennis Building

The new building takes the form of a 10m high sinuous masonry wall which will provide the outer skin to the library and art gallery creating a new civic frontage for this new arts building complex. Rooflights and sidelight glazed slots bring daylight into the heart of the plan, whilst “incident windows” connect the interior with the exterior and offer views to key points within the town. The administrative offices for the county library sit above the double height main library space in a single, rectangular form.

The building fabric exhibits a strong masonry presence using complimentary contrasting colour in the fenestration and integral panelling, to create strong rhythm on the façade.

Technical design has commenced with a view to construction starting later in 2018.

Cllr. Tom McNamara, Mayor of Clare, commented, “The development of a new County Library facility has long been sought after by past and present Members of the Council, as well as by the local community. Clare County Library is one of our most valuable resources and it is appropriate therefore, that it is provided with a modern facility befitting its status from which to continue to deliver a vitally important service to the people of Clare.”

Mayor McNamara also acknowledged thecontribution of the wider community during the public consultation process on the proposed new facility.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, added, “Clare County Council is committed to further enhancing its cultural facilities and infrastructure. This development willstrengthen Clare’s reputation as a cultural centre as well as support economic and social activity in Ennis.”

Liam Conneally, Director of Service and responsible for the Library’s delivery stated that “the new Clare County Library being contiguous to the glór music centre will represent a cluster of cultural and creative activity befitting Ennis, County Clare’s capital town”. He stated “this modern architectural design located on an important Ennis town centre site will not only serve its library function well but will also be aesthetically pleasing to locals and visitors alike”.

Clare County Library Ennis Building

Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian, commented, “Ireland has seen some ambitious library buildings developed in the last decade and some outstanding and beautiful architectural structures have been achieved as a result. We believe the new County Library will be one ofthese buildings combining technologically advanced services whilst keeping the customer at the heart of service delivery. It truly will be a library for the 21st century.”

Ruth Hurley, Senior Executive Architect and project manager for Clare County Council.
remarked “It is anticipated that the building design will provide a contemporary architectural response to the modern library whilst remaining user friendly, energy efficient and adaptable for future changes.”

Clare County Library in Ennis interior

Keith Williams, the firm’s founder and director of design stated,

“I am delighted that the project has been consented and is proceeding toward tender and construction. This will be a very important building for the town of Ennis, the whole of County Clare and South-West Ireland.

Consultants Arup, AECOM, AxisEng and OLM Consultancy are working with KWA on the project.

Keith Williams, fellow director Richard Brown and their team have worked in Ireland since 2001, and were recently shortlisted for the 2017 RIAI Triennial Gold Medal.

The firm’s projects include The National Opera House, Wexford (with the OPW), 3 projects in Athlone namely the Civic Centre, the Luan Gallery, and the Army Memorial, and in Co Monaghan, Clones Library & County Library HQ.

Clare County Library, Ennis Building images / information from Keith Williams Architects

Keith Williams Architects

10 Jul 2016

Clare County Library Building in Ennis

Clare County Cultural Centre in Ennis

Keith Williams Architects have been selected to design the new Clare County Cultural Centre in Ennis in the west of Ireland for clients Clare County Council.

Conceived as a new cultural hub for the town and the region, the 2,300m2 project will extend the existing Glór Theatre (2001) adding a new Library and Art Gallery. The project is scheduled to be submitted for planning consent later in the year.

Keith Williams, the firm’s founder and director of design stated,

“After a bit of a break we are absolutely thrilled to be working on new projects in Ireland again and to have won this important commission. l look forward to working with Clare County Council and the community on the development of the project.”

Consultants ARUP, AECOM, AxisEng and OLM Consultancy will be working with KWA on the project.

Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian commented, “Ireland has seen some ambitious library buildings developed in the last decade and some outstanding and beautiful architectural structures have been achieved as a result. It is envisioned that the new County Library will be one of these buildings combining technologically advanced services whilst keeping the customer at the heart of service delivery. It truly will be a library for the 21st century.”

“This development will provide a model of best practice and will include measures to maximise the sustainability of the scheme for the County,” commented Ruth Hurley, Senior Executive Architect with Clare County Council. “It is anticipated that the building design will provide a contemporary response to the modern library whilst remaining user friendly, energy efficient and adaptable for future changes in use.”

Location: Ennis, Clare County, Ireland

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