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Tuam Civic Offices and Library

Galway County Council’s Tuam library and civic offices building is located within the town’s architectural conservation area, and in the vicinity of three protected structures – St. Mary’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Temple Jarlath and the Yew Avenue approach to the cathedral.

The area library comprises an adult library, children’s library, reference and learning areas, and associated facilities including exhibition and lecture spaces. It is designed around a central double-height atrium which brings natural light into the depth of the plan and links the various departments, both visually and functionally.

The area office provides accommodation for 30 staff, and includes a public office, motor tax office, meeting rooms and other ancillary accommodation for the local authority’s housing, planning and engineering services.

The design aspires to be responsive to its context, in terms of built form, plan and appearance; the building’s principal material is locally quarried limestone, with painted render for secondary areas.

The scheme design was energy rated and strives to be a model of environmental sustainability, with the use of state-of-the-art technologies - in daylighting, natural ventilation, and thermal insulation.

Notwithstanding the steeply sloping site, the design was fully audited to ensure that it is an exemplar of accessible design, exceeding the minimum requirements of the building regulations.

To the rear of the building, a second phase is planned to provide a new civic space surrounded by retail and residential development.

The project - constructed by Michael McNamara and Company - was completed on budget and ahead of schedule in February 2009.

Client: Galway County Council

Value: €5,139,527
Size: 2,042 Sq. m.

Reference: Ms Martina Moloney, Galway County Manager.
Design: 2004
Completion: 2009