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Robertstown National School

PKA's major redevelopment of Robertstown National School comprises renovation of the existing building, plus the addition of new classrooms, resource and library facilities, as well as a general purpose room.

Located at the edge of the picturesque canal-side village, Robertstown National School is a fine example of the rural national schools built by the Office of Public Works throughout Ireland between the 1930s and the 1960s.

PKA's main design objective was to retain and respect the character of the existing building, particularly its attractive front facade and water tower, while keeping the new additions in harmony, and in scale, with the original.

Our response was to design the extension to form a courtyard behind the original building, thereby creating a secure external teaching and play area, as well as giving the school a new focus. Both new and existing classrooms have access to this space, whether directly from the original block, or from the corridor which runs the length of the new wing.

The general purpose hall is placed in a pivotal position, marking a new entrance to the school. Its hipped roof can be seen from a distance and its lantern rooflight forms an illuminated beacon at night.

Built within the constraints of the government's standard school building budget, PKA's design utilised the materials and language of the existing building: blockwork structure, roughcast render, aluminium windows, metal roofing, linomium flooring and internal fair-faced blockwork.

Commended in the 2007 RIAI annual awards, PKA were subsequently engaged to design a further extension which was completed in January 2010.

Client: Board of Management, Scoil Robaird, Robertstown
Value: Total €2,100,000
Size: 1,300 Sq.m.

Reference: Ms. Mary Dillon, School Principal
Design: 1999
Completion: Phase 1-2007; Phase 2-2010