Architects Carr Cotter and Naessens have won a design competition to build the new €35 million public library in Dún Laoghaire. Set in Moran Park, the 8,000sq m (86,111sq ft) library and its neighbouring park, pond and bowling green will provide a link between the town and the sea.
"The park is a way through from one part of Dún Laoghaire to another and it is important that people see it as public space," says Louise Cotter, who established Cork/Limerick-based Carr Cotter Naessens in 2001 with husband David Naessens and Séamus Carr.
As well as having lending and reference facilities, the library will include performance spaces, an art gallery, music library with practise rooms, a bookshop and cafe. A reading room and youth area will be on the top floor where a large window will offer sea views.
The cafe and arts centre will be beside the redesigned park. The ground floor of the library is to be paved to encourage people to see it as an extension of the outdoor area.
The building is slender, sitting to one side of the park. The sides of the library that overlook the park and the sea will be made of granite. The side facing the town will be in stone and red brick.
The competition to design the library, which attracted 139 entries from Ireland and abroad, was run on behalf of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council by the RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland). RIAI director John Graby says that this method of procuring public buildings leads to good quality structures that contribute to the community.
The scheme now has to go through planning which will involve public consultation. It is on view at Dún Laoghaire town hall.
The Irish Times