The project consists of a Regional Library and Local Area Office for Limerick County Council together with a new Courthouse for the Department of Justice, all arranged around a new linear public space for the town of Kilmallock. The project forms a new Civic Precinct strategically aligned so as to extend the building line of the Main Street.

The Regional Library, which plays an important public and social role within the town, consists of a double-height flexible space and is located on the most prominent corner of the site. The Library and Office form a single, linear entity allowing common facilities such as Exhibition space, WCs and canteen to be shared.

The existing 1840 Union Workhouse was re-used, refurbished, renovated and extended to accomodate new court facilities, and forms a grand entrance hall to the new court building behind. Principles of sustainable development were incorporated, including natural ventilation, reduction in heat loss, sustainable and efficient heat generation using wood-chip boilers, incorporation of solar and photovoltaic panels and the extensive use of natural daylighting throughout. A central energy centre serves all three buildings and accomodates the biomass wood pellet boiler and plant facilities.

2010 RIAI Best Public Building
2010 RIBA European Award shortlist

Photographs by Christian Richters