The building has won an Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI) Award and the award for Best Public and Cultural Building, presented at the Irish Architecture Awards. Both awards aim to encourage the highest standards of design, while recognizing projects that have made a significant contribution to Irish architecture.
The €10m riverside complex, designed by McCullough Mulvin Architects, has provided the local community with a contemporary and multi-functional building. It integrates an exhibition space, a 250-seat auditorium and stage, and a library and media zone.
A folding roof envelopes the building, and sheer panes of glass created from Technal's aluminium visible grid curtain walling (pictured below), face the river. The high level of glazing allows natural light to flood into the center.
The curtain walling has glass-to-glass corners that change direction to follow the bend in the river. It also projects outwards and returns in at angles of up to 15 degrees.
Technal's system allowed the architects to create a "random rhythm" for the façade and an irregular pattern, which almost has the appearance of stonework. This was achieved by breaking the glass walls into smaller sections - an alternative to conventional grid curtain walling.
The glazed units span each floor and were staggered to create the abstract style and a strong identity for the main façade that overlooks the river.
The glazing was fabricated and installed by Kilkenny Aluminium. Technal's FXi65 casement windows were inserted into the curtain walling to allow the temperature of the building to be controlled by the occupants. The units were glazed in Pilkington clear solar control glass.
Hydro is Europe's preferred supplier of aluminium building systems, and delivers to scores of other countries around the globe. Its three international brands - Domal, Technal and Wicona - cover the whole range of system products.