The Source, Thurles Arts Centre & Library

Contemporary architecture in the spare aesthetic of small Irish towns can feel immediately settled; Thurles Art Centre and Library is like this- it stands at the bridge over the river amidst medieval towers and convents, but folds itself into the context - each function expressed as a volume under an undulating roof open towards the river and a generous boardwalk. The geometries arise out of its very particular location, crouched like a cat at the medieval gate of Thurles and stretched around a bend in the Suir; the folded roof rising and falling like a small mountain range from a strong base; two storeys of library separated from the theatre by the lower entrance and arts space, with an open terrace on the first floor. The Centre has a cast concrete interior shell within a zinc, plaster and glass elevations; rooflights cut into the plan; a deep indent in the library ceiling brings light and air to the centre of the plan; a similar rooflight on the upper terrace gives unexpected views of the work on exhibition below. The theatre foyer is a compressed volume vertical between auditorium and boardwalk.

  • Address: Cathedral Street, Thurles, County Tipperary
  • Client: North Tipperary County Council
  • GPS: 52.679761, -7.809508
  • Civil & Structural Engineers: O'Connor Sutton Cronin
  • M&E Engineers: Homan O'Brien & Associates
  • Quantity Surveyors: Brendan Merry & Partners
  • Contractor: Tom Haynes Ltd.
  • Awards: 
    • 2007 RIAI Triennial Gold Medal - Shortlisted
    • 2007 RIAI Awards - Best Public / Cultural Building - Winner
    • 2007 Opus Architecture and Construction Awards - Highly Commended
    • 2007 Irish Concrete Society Awards - Highly Commended
    • 2007 AAI Awards 22 - Winner
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