Cork Civic Offices
The three facades of the existing City Hall provide independent access to a variety of civic functions: a concert hall accessed through the north façade facing the River Lee, a Lecture Hall accessed from the east, and the Council Chamber entered from the west. Our proposal was to ‘reveal’ the fourth, ‘back-stage’ elevation as the new administrative entrance to the civic complex.
The project is structured around two dramatic spaces: a narrow Stair Hall, formed between the exposed ’fourth façade’ of the City Hall and the new building, and a top-lit Civic Hall.
The Civic Hall, conceived as a public room for Cork City, and generated from an existing diagonal public route across the site, is of a scale commensurate with the existing Concert Hall and St. Finbarr’s Cathedral.
The Stair Hall, separated from the public atrium at ground floor by an enfilade of glazed meeting rooms, contains the principal vertical circulation. This hall acts as the principal orientating space for staff.
The solid, ‘masonry’ element is conceived of as a carved volume, eroded in response to the adjacent City Hall and city edge condition. It fulfills the function of a ‘service block’, containing the principal support for both the existing City Hall and the glass volume.
The crystalline volume is designed for maximum flexibility and contains office space. It is linked to the service block by bridges for circulation, great ‘chimneys’ for ventilation, and deep fins to control light.
Best public building 2008.