Stirling-winning practice has designed a rugby-themed visitor attraction in Limerick, Ireland

Designed by Níall McLaughlin Architects, the International Rugby Experience opened its doors earlier this year. 

The interactive experience sits in the heart of Limerick in western Ireland, where visitors can discover what it takes to become a professional rugby player. 

Looking at the grassroots of the game through to the players, clubs and nations that have dominated the sport, visitors will hear stories and test their skills as they move through six stages inside the building.

The experience uses custom-made, real-time software coupled with the expert knowledge of Jock Peggie, head of education, laws and compliance at World Rugby to guide people through the experience. The journey ends with 360-degree views of Limerick at the sixth-floor Legend’s Gallery.

The project has been voted Ireland’s favourite building in this year’s Royal Institute of Irish Architects (RIAI) Public Choice Award. Judges described it as having “a strong civic presence and a quality akin to a city hall, library or gallery. Its scale successfully addresses both the immediate, local context, while also announcing itself to the wider city”.

Níall Mclaughlin commented: “It is a collaboration between many people. On behalf of the team, I would like to say how proud we are to have been part of this project for the city of Limerick. The themes celebrated in the exhibition are about passion, integrity and respect. This is what we witnessed from the many people who gave their best to this unique endeavour. It’s lovely to see architecture being celebrated as part of civic life.”