St. Cronan's National School

Following the success of our Presentation College scheme, PKA was appointed by the board of management of St Cronan's school to design an extension to the Bray, Co Wicklow, primary school.

Located south of the seaside commuter town, the original two-storey, sixteen-classroom school had a highly symmetric plan and a strong architectural presence on its site which drops four meters from its entrance level to the lower level playground that was the eventual site for PKA's extension.

Following our appointment, PKA's the first task was to explore a range of alternative locations for the six-classroom extension, including the preparation of cost estimates to establish the most economical design option.

From the alternatives considered, the preferred scheme consisted of a two-storey, stand-alone structure that was entered on its upper level from the school's general purpose room, and which had a connecting staircase to a range of lower-level classrooms that look onto the reduced-size school playground.

The organisation of the classrooms along a roof-lit circulation spine provides both cross ventilation and maximum daylight, as well as creating an attractive learning environment and minimising energy consumption on artificial lighting.

The extension utilised to materials of the existing building: blockwork structure, painted render, aluminium windows, metal roofing, linoleum flooring and fair-faced internal blockwork walls.

Built within the constraints of the Department of Education's standard school building budget, PKA's design utilised a lively painted exterior, regular fenestration and a mono-pitched roof to lift the design above the ordinary.

Completed on-schedule and on-budget in 2009, the extension was funded by the Department of Education and Science.

Client: Board of Management, St. Cronan's NS
Value: Total €510,000
Size: 500 Sq.m.

Reference: Mr Vaughan Dodd, School Principal
Design: 2007
Completion: 2009