Coolock Library serves as a significant public service facility within the north central area of Dublin City. Dublin City Council sought to optimize this resource by maximizing accessibility to the building and by expanding the services provided within the building. DCC also wanted the building to act as a public gateway to a range of services provided by the Libraries Network as well as other community and voluntary services within the area.
Coolock Library, like many modern libraries, offers multiple public services and activities along with the tradition of book lending and public information. Prior to the redevelopment, these activities had been housed within a tired and dilapidated building which failed to reflect the dynamic and creative library community within.
The existing single storey, flat-roofed Library is sandwiched between two school buildings. As a Public Building, it was invisible to passers-by and indistinguishable from the education buildings. In response to the Client’s requirement to enhance the frontage and to make it more accessible and visible from the street we designed a copper green toned entrance totem incorporating illuminated signage, Digital information screen, bike storage and a canopy which is clearly visible from the street. The façade was further enhanced by the introduction of new windows and projecting window surrounds creating a more dynamic façade.
The Children’s Library ‘An Chulóg’ has been designed as a space to encourage young readers and parents to embrace library life, and includes a storytelling tree, wall-house snugs as well as arts and crafts and computer zones.
A large multi-purpose space is equipped with 3 large folding walls which can divide and sub divide the space into different room configurations accommodating various activities including book clubs, crochet classes, lectures, festivals and exhibitions.
A vibrant ‘Maker Space’ is located in the centre of the library with visibility from the adult and children’s library. This space is equipped with a green screen, 3-D printing, write-on-wall, bespoke storage and display areas – all to inspire and embrace creative activities.
Coolock library underwent a complete mechanical & electrical refurbishment including renewable technologies to achieve an NZEB energy rating for the building. The space heating and domestic hot water requirements are provided by air to water heat pump technology. Ventilation requirements are achieved using a central Mechanical ventilation unit; Incorporating in-line filtration & heat recovery system for optimum energy efficiency. All artificial lighting utilises the latest LED lighting and controls for optimum performance & occupants’ comfort. Roof mounted solar electric photovoltaic panels generate onsite electrical energy for use within the building. A full Building Energy Management controls software system has been Installed with remote monitoring facilities.
Dublin City Council
Completed December 2019
Irish Architect Sept/Oct 2020