Model Arts & Niland Gallery

Constructed in 1861, the Model School faces the Mall in Sligo. The brief for the project was to house the town's significant collection of Jack Yeats paintings under optimum environmental conditions, to facilitate international exhibition loans, and to host contemporary visual arts exhibitions. The building also has a small performance space for music and film. The original project (the current extension to the complex is not the work of McCullough Mulvin) made a dynamic intervention working with the existing section and geometry, completing its incipient pinwheel and creating new circulation patterns to link old and new work. The resulting galleries and public spaces are organized around a central atrium space formed through the enclosure of rear yards.

The Niland Gallery, a rectangular cedar and zinc clad box containing the environmentally stable gallery spaces at first floor, slides across the north side of the plan to enclose and animate the new atrium; a cafe is tucked under the gallery at ground floor. There was careful intervention into the existing fabric to block or open doors and niches and remove accretions to make better exhibition space, creating conditions for visitors to enjoy the texture and grain of the Victorian building. The entrance remains through the old front door. From this oblique view, the intent of the circulation is revealed, a diagonal route of staircases stepping up the steep slope of the site, mediating between the existing entrance and the new gallery.

  • Address: The Mall, Sligo
  • Client: Sligo Corporation
  • GPS: 54.273526, -8.468655
  • Civil & Structural Engineers: Concannon Healy Heffernan
  • M&E Engineers: J. V. Tierney & Co.
  • Quantity Surveyors: A. J. McCaul & Associates
  • Contractors: McCann Bros.
  • Awards: 
    • 2005 RIAI Triennial Gold Medal - Shortlisted
    • 2001 RIAI Awards - Regional Award - Nominated
    • 2000 AAI Awards 15 - Nominated
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