Kildare Civic Offices Ireland – Council Building

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Kildare County Council Offices, Ireland

Contemporary Architecture, Ireland – design by Heneghan Peng Architects

18 Jun 2008

Kildare Civic Offices

Design: Heneghan Peng Architects

NEW CIVIC OFFICES, KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL AND NAAS URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL

heneghan.peng.architects in association with Arthur Gibney & Partners

Competition Winner

Completed Building Images © Hisao Suzuki

Kildare County Council Offices Kildare Council Offices Kildare Civic Offices Kildare Offices

Kildare County Council Offices

This project is formed around the public space of the people, the civic garden. A slowly inclined ground plane gradually ascends from the street creating a civic amphitheatre for Naas. The sloped amphitheatre is an “event surface” expanding the public realm of the town and opening up the entire site to the town.

The two bars that form the civic offices enclose and are a continuation of the civic amphitheatre. Their inclined facades form a seamless continuity with the grass surface so that building and park no longer read as two distinct elements but rather combine to create an outdoor room. The “event ramps” that connect the bars have transparent facades that allow the park/amphitheatre to visually flow through, while internally the ramps serve as a space of social interaction facilitating the co-operation between different departments and the public.

The diverse concerns of the brief are integrated into a cohesive landscape where individual elements combine to form a whole greater than the parts – the bar buildings, whose surfaces are a continuation of the surface of the garden, enclosing and creating the civic amphitheatre/garden, the sloping garden that subtly conceals the car park from public view, the tilted façade of the civic garden continuing onto the civic offices which becomes the main façade of the project. This project proposes that the space of the people, the garden, is the source of identity for the new civic offices.

The office programme is laid out so that all the elements in a department are grouped together yet none of the departments are given a separate architectural expression (aside from Naas UDC). As departments change size over time they may expand and contract in and out of one another without causing building changes. The offices occupy two bars each twelve metres wide to allow for an entirely naturally ventilated building. Required adjacencies are either achieved laterally in plan or vertically.

The civic garden, the foyer and exhibition space, Naas UDC, the events ramps all are extraordinary moments in an otherwise repetitive building. The two bars while similar are subtly different. The more prominent east bar houses the main entrance, which is reached from the civic amphitheatre through a natural foyer of retained existing trees. The main entrance – a double height foyer/exhibition space with its’ strong visual connection to the garden connects all the public spaces. The council chamber is located at the south end of the concourse, the consolidated public counters close to the reception desk and Naas UDC at the north end of the concourse. The exhibition space is integrated into the space of the foyer The event ramps connecting the cores provide the shortest means of connection in the building while at the same facilitating social interaction as people circulate through the building.

The new civic offices proposes an identity of inclusion where the public are invited to share in the process of government, the vision is of a project that serves as a resource for the people of Naas and of Kildare, creating an environment of social interaction and providing a building into which the public are encouraged to enter

Kildare Civic Offices images / information from Heneghan Peng Architects

Heneghan Peng


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Kildare Civic Offices Ireland Architecture