Waterford City Library

The City Library in Waterford is located in the city centre and has become a pivotal community building in the locality since its completion. The Carnegie Library on Lady Lane required complete refurbishment and an extension onto an adjoining site (an undertaker's yard) to provide better library and information resource facilities for the 21st century. The project, now L-shaped with the addition of the new site, offered opportunities for juxtaposition between a modern building and layered intervention into the fabric, especially in the manipulation of section and light to create a new diagonal circulation across the plan. The new block fills the site with entrance and mezzanine within the same volume at ground floor. There is a library level over and staff facilities in a set-back floor which emerges out of the new building and extends across to pin the existing library.

Internally, the existing building was renewed and the double-height reading room lined out with a dark timber skin which hides and reveals the old structure beneath it. Balconies cross it at different levels. The space between old and new is fluid. There is a sense of the external envelope running from board-marked concrete to painted brickwork. Using light and section, the project tries to forge a link between the elements, moving from entrance mezzanine to reading room across the plan. A new storey was also added to Bakehouse Lane, echoing the language of the new extension, making it a three-dimensional city block rather than a flat street elevation.

  • Address: Lady Lane, Waterford
  • Client: Wateford City Council
  • Civil & Structural Engineers: O'Connor Sutton Cronin
  • M&E Engineers: Homan O'Brien & Associates
  • Quantity Surveyors: Brendan Merry & Partners
  • Contractors: O’Connor Brothers Construction Ltd
  • Awards: 
    • 2007 National Disability Authority - Excellence Through Accessibility - Winner
    • 2005 RIAI Award - Eastern Regional Project - Winner
    • 2005 CILIP Public Library Buildings Awards - Winner
    • 2004 Opus Architecture and Construction Awards - Heritage Award - Winner
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