Practice bags planning for £7.5m west Ireland cultural hub
Keith Williams Architects (KWA) has received planning approval for a 2,300sq m library in the west Ireland town of Ennis.
The building will include a contemporary art gallery and sit alongside Ennis’ Glór Theatre, designed by Dublin practice Gilroy McMahon Architects, which opened in 2001, creating a cultural hub in the County Clare capital.
Williams’ proposals for the Clare County Library feature a 10m-high sinuous masonry wall providing a new civic frontage for the complex, with rooflights, glazed sidelights and picture windows that frame key views of the town from within. Administrative offices sit above the double-height main library space.
KWA founder and director of design Keith Williams said the project would be an important building not only for the town but for the whole of south-west Ireland.
“I am delighted that the project has been consented and is proceeding toward tender and construction,” he said.
KWA was selected by Clare County Council to design the new county library in 2016. It will replace a 1970s library elsewhere in Ennis which is prone to flooding.
KWA is working with Arup, Aecom, and the OLM Consultancy on the project, which local media last year said had budget of €8.6m (£7.5m at today’s exchange rates).
The practice has worked in the Irish Republic since 2001, where its projects include the National Opera House in Wexford, Athlone Civic Centre in Westmeath and Clones Library and County Library HQ in Monaghan.