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Warrenmount School, Dublin 8

In 2015, PKA were commissioned to design a new student common room, canteen, careers room and home economics room for the Presentation Secondary School in Warrenmount, Dublin 8.

Funded by a charitable trust, the objectives of the project were twofold: to improve the cooking and home economics skills of the pupils of the Liberties all-girls secondary school; and to ensure that all pupils received the nourishment of at least one well-prepared and healthy meal on each school day.

Converting a number of existing classrooms, PKA's home economics room has state-of-the-art teaching facilities, including audio-visual infrastructure for the students to watch on-line cookery demonstrations.

The new canteen has seating accommodation for the entire school to have lunch in a single sitting. The cooking facilities are of full-restaurant standard, including bain-marie and chilled presentation units.

With sofas, lounge chairs and an electric stove unit, the recreation room is for pupils to 'chill-out' before, after and between classes. It is also intended to accommodate parent-teacher meetings, evening classes and social events.

Rachael Chidlow's design sought to enliven the atmosphere of the teaching, canteen and recreation spaces: new roof-lights were inserted into the home economics classroom to provide natural light and ventilation; Oak laminate flooring replaced in place of the ubiquitous carpet and vinyl sheeting; a vibrant palette of colours was and a range of distinctive light fittings was selected to give the spaces a relaxed and anti-institutional feel.

PKA was appointed in 2015, construction commenced in July 2016 and was completed on time for the start of the academic year in September 2016.

Client: Presentation Warrenmount School

Value: €350,000
Size: 260 sq.m.

Reference: Ms Gwen Brennan, Principal
Design: 2015
Completion: 2016