1000 Pupil Secondary School

The school embraces the concept of the school as a micro-city – a Learning City that features familiar urban devices.

Within the school building, pupils can interact with each other in various ‘urban’ environments; on streets, in a park, a courtyard. But equally the school provides a series of more intimate and private spaces where smaller groups or individuals can retreat to and work independently.

The Park

The Park forms the central nucleus of the school, the social core, it’s primary community space and central circulation area. The ‘Park’ is treated to feel semi-outdoors, paved and landscaped to feel like an urban space with extensive south-facing glazed screens opening onto the ‘Courtyard’. Students will circulate through the ‘Park’ going to classes, gathering for assembly and lunch. The ‘Park’ is busy, full of movement, yet also provides more intimate spaces, steps and corners for small groups to form or where individuals can study. The wall of the centrally located music room slides open to form a proscenium for an audience within the ‘Park’. The PE hall runs parallel to the ‘Park’ and the central section of wall between the two spaces is constructed from an open mesh screen, similar to a ball court in a city park, encouraging pupils to watch sports and support players, attracting pupils to join in games.

The Courtyard

The ‘Courtyard’ is enclosed on three sides and open to the south, it’s part paved, part landscaped ground surface acts as an outdoor extension of the ‘Park’. The ‘Courtyard provides a secure and clearly defined outdoor play and teaching area as well as providing an extension of the social core. A lightweight retractable allows the courtyard space be used in all weathers– encouraging external teaching, outdoor assembly, performances, screenings, sports activities, gardening and a visual attractive central garden core – an incubator space for nature and education.

The Streets

The two legs of the U shaped plan form the classroom wings, or Streets. All the general classrooms within the Streets are south-east facing and full of morning sunlight, some of which is transmitted to the corridors through part clear, part obscure glazed walls – providing a degree of transparency and openness between the classroom and the wider school community. Each group of three general classrooms will share a dedicated social space, where individual student lockers line the perimeter walls and informal seating areas allow small groups to gather and socialize, lounging on comfortable seating, exchanging stories, where students work together in small groups or individually outside classroom hours. Each social area will have a large bay window with study desk, each will also have a display recess facing the corridor where students can present projects and achievements to the school community.

Kilmacthomas Workhouse

Mahoney Architecture were commissioned to carry out a feasibility study for the redevelopment of Kilmacthomas Workhouse in County Waterford. The original buildings were designed by George Wilkinson to a standard design developed by the Poor Law Unions. The complex was opened in 1853 as a refuge for poor and destitute of post famine Ireland. The various buildings including a chapel and fever hospital were arranged in a symmetrical layout with the chapel as the centre piece. The workhouse closed in 1919, fortunately most of the buildings remain relatively intact and many original details remain. The buildings are both haunting and inspiring and we are excited and challenged by the potential to reimagine their use in a positive way while at the same time respecting the legacy of the unfortunate inhabitants and the many who died within the workhouse walls.

Belfast Exposed

Paschal Mahoney presented Trees on the Quays and participated in a panel discussion at Belfast Exposed as part of Anthony Haughey’s Settlement exhibition.

Thursday 9 August, 2 – 3.30pm

To accompany Settlement by Anthony Haughey, Belfast Exposed is pleased to host a panel discussion which draws comparisons between policies and patterns of urban development in the North and the South of Ireland in recent years, particularly in the contexts of Belfast and Dublin. Through shared discussion, we are interested in exploring some of the creative alternatives being proposed by contemporary artists and architects in response to residual urban planning and development problems in both cities.

Aidan McGrath, PLACE: Architecture and Built Environment Centre, Belfast
Paschal Mahoney, Mahony Architects, Dublin
Mark Hackett, Forum for Alternative Belfast
James Hayes, University College Dublin (Architecture)

Dundrum Courthouse

The refurbishment of the original Deane & Woodward Courthouse at Dundrum Garda Station has begun on site. This is the first phase of a larger development that will see the entire Garda Station revamped and extended. The works are being carried out by Ganson and will be completed early in the new year. The Courthouse had been abandoned for many years and was in danger of serious deterioration. This new lease of life for the building will be a welcome addition to the architectural heritage of Dundrum.

Scoil Bhride Rathangan

The first phase of the construction works at Scoil Bhride , Rathangan is nearing completion and we hope to see the staff and pupils take possession of the 12 new classrooms in the next few months. Phase Two will follow immediately after handover and the new school will be completed in early 2013.