This E 34.5m Library in Dun Laoghaire, Eire is inspired by the port's physical and poetic connection with Dublin Bay. The design is conceived like a sectionalised boat hull of traditional clinker construction raised on a beach. The choppy sea lies beyond and the beach is a landscape of sand, shells and rocks.
The Library is a long low building anchored against a promontory of land formed by the adjacent Haigh Terrace. Its 'hull' is enveloped with curvaceous gold stainless vanes which provide environmental screening. These are akin to open clinker boat construction. The library is surmounted by a sequence of large undulating roof-lights providing for north light. These reflect the waves off the coast. The new public park adjacent to the library incorporates a small lake and a sequence of landscape terraces, like a rock pool on a shelving beach. This simple seaside language informs the relationships in the design.
The building responds simply to its urban context being an urban block running parallel with the street, edging it and framing the adjacent park landscape. It is constructed of concrete with high thermal mass, with parts semi buried and ground insulated. Solar thermal energy is captured, stored and cycled using the new lake for thermal storage. The cultural facilities and local amenities are located in the prow of the development with views out across Dublin Bay to Hawarth Head. Floor area: 12,700m2