McCullough Mulvin Architects – The Source Arts Centre and Library Thurles – 2006

McCullough Mulvin Architects :


This building s geometries arise out of its location – crouched like a cat at the medieval gate of Thurles and stretched around a bend in the river Suir. A folded zinc roof encloses very different volumes, rising and falling like a small mountain range from a strong base. Two stories of library and research space are coupled to the high volume of the auditorium by the lower entrance and arts space. Folded between is a upper caf terrace. In plan the building is similarly cranked, each zone mapped into trapezoidal volumes. In the library, a long thin space has a deep cut in the ceiling plane to bring light and air to the centre of the plan. The exhibition space has a similar slice through the roof plane, giving unexpected views of the work on exhibition below. The theatre foyer is similarly a compressed volume caught between auditorium and boardwalk. Large glass doors slide back to open the caf and foyer to the boardwalk. Internally the theatre stage is equipped with full flying and rigging as well as an orchestra pit, raked seating and a balcony, which presents to the stage a wall of expectant faces. Throughout the building colour is used to code andfocus red for information, orange for vertical circulation, white and black for concentration and relaxation. Seen from across the river these coloured zones resolve themselves into large scale gestures of connection; intense dots of red marking out information areas, calm white zones of research and introspection, spots of black indicating more expansive night uses. Externally the boardwalk floats towards the river over a sunken car park, closed off with a slatted cedar screen.


Architects: McCullough Mulvin Architects

Location: Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co.Tipperary, Ireland

Surface: Gross floor area 5,000sqm

Year/Status: Year start: 2003/Completed: 2006

Structure: Steel & reinforced concrete

Materials: Zinc, concrete, timber board wall, curtain wall glazing, rendered blockwork to rere elevation

Project teams: Design Team: McCullough Mulvin Architects – Architects, O Connor Sutton Cronin – Structural Engineers, Homan O Brien – Services Engineers, Brendan Merry & Ptnrs – Quantity Surveyors, Maurice Power Theatre Productions Theatre Consultant

Client: Regional Arts Centre Ltd c/o North Tipperary County Council/County Tipperary Joint Libraries Committee

Contractors: Constructor: Tom Hayes Ltd, Killaloe, Co Clare Main Contractor Clancy Contracts Ltd. Electrical contractors T.Bourke & Co. Ltd Mechanical Contractors

Photography: Christian Richters (Germany)

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