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Old Borough School and Parish Centre

The Old Borough school and parish centre in Swords, Co. Dublin is one of the most challenging - and most applauded - educational projects carried out to date by PKA.

The building is located on the site of a former quarry, adjoining the round tower, medieval keep and nineteenth century Francis Johnson designed parish church, which are major parts of Swords' heritage. Compatibility with the site's historic location and preservation of the archaeological layer were primary considerations on the design of the project.

The design is also a considered response to the complex topography of the site. The lower level classrooms provide a structural base to the community hall, and the parish meeting room on the upper mezzanine level overlooks the hall. Each with separate access, allowing independent use of all facilities, and integration of the building into the levels of the site.

Secondary accommodation - ancillary teaching, staff rooms and services - are located in a lower block cut into the hillside between the school and Church Road above.

The building is finished in render, with cut limestone cladding marking the entrances and public areas. The roof profile is designed to minimise its effect on the historical ecclesiastical buildings.

The project - commissioned by the Department of Education and the Governors of The Old Borough parish - won an RIAI Award, was commended in the AAI Awards, and has been much praised for its contextual response to its historic setting. 

Client: Board of Governors, Old Borough School
Value: €2,286,000

Size: 1,402 Sq.m.

Reference: Mr. Robert Deane, Chairman, Board of Governors
Design: 1997

Completion: 2002