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Scoil Mhuire Community School

Paul Keogh Architects' first educational project was a major redevelopment of Scoil Mhuire Community School, in Clane, Co. Kildare which comprised the addition of two new classroom blocks and a freestanding sports hall.

PKA were invited to interview for the project on the foot of the success of our Temple Bar work, and especially the Gaiety School of Acting in Meeting House Square.

Designed for both school and community use, the sports hall accommodates a full size basketball court with a first floor viewing gallery, as well as facilities for changing, storage and administration.

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

The design of the structure is echoed in the elevational treatment: steel columns support lateral beams that carry cantilevered trusses which in turn support the roof. The roof and wall panels are finished in self-coloured profiled steel cladding, with specially pressed metal fascia and column linings. The main entrance screen is finished in aluminium curtain glazing with hardwood joinery.

PKA placed particular emphasis on natural daylighting and ventilation, and the development of an economically viable solution which would be aesthetically distinguished and durable in use throughout its lifespan.

The classroom extensions, in two separate blocks, accommodate both general teaching and specialist subject rooms, including science and woodwork rooms.

The hall has been widely acclaimed and published in the professional journal of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland- Architecture Ireland.

Client: Dept. of Education & Science
Value: €2,285,530

Size: 775 Sq.m.

Reference: Ms Helen O'Neill, Dept. of Education & Science
Design: 1997
Completion: 2000