Beaufort Maritime and Energy Research Laboratory, UCC

The UCC Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy is the largest integrated maritime and energy research center in the world and home to Lir, the National Ocean Test Facility. Conceived as a stone outcrop subject to the action of weather, the overall form and surface are deeply indented, a space beside wild water containing water.

The research tower is deeply cut on the north and east facades, analogous to the action of wind and water on driftwood, generating a series of indented planes on the elevation to the sea. The building, on Cork Harbour, makes an L–shaped section form with a tall research block and entrance stacked to the sea and a large tank hall with testing facilities behind it. The buildings form is driven by the size and relationship of the four test tanks, each with wave generators and moving floors to simulate wave action, coastal erosion and ocean floor modelling – pioneering research for Ireland’s green economy.

The tank hall roof, supported by 30m long steel trusses, is geometrically resolved in folded triangulated planes. Tension between the folded form and the captured volumes beneath present an oscillating rhythm, which geometrically intersects the serrated edges of the plan in a range of relationships.

  • Address: Ringaskiddy, Cork
  • Client: University College Cork
  • GPS: 51.833733, -8.305128
  • Civil & Structural Engineers: ARUP
  • M&E Engineers: RPS Group
  • Quantity Surveyors: JJ Casey & Co.
  • Fire Consultants: Cantwell Keogh
  • Contractors: JJ Rhatigan Ltd
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