Wexford County Council Headquarters / Robin Lee Architecture

© Andrew Lee

Architects: Robin Lee Architecture
Location: , Ireland
Project Year: 2008
Project Area: 11,500 sqm
Photographs: Andrew Lee


, in association with Arthur Gibney and Partners, has completed Wexford County Council Headquarters in Ireland. The project won in an international competition organised by the RIAI in 2006, and is the first building to be completed since Lee’s practice Nord LLP was renamed in April 2011.

Situation

The building sits on a sloping site on the outer fringes of Wexford town, in South East Ireland, with lovely views of the River Slaney Estuary and the Blackstairs Mountains. It brings together the services and departments of Wexford County Council that, until now, have been housed separately within the center of the town.

© Andrew Lee

The new headquarters gives identity to the collective endeavor of the council as a unified organization, while giving individual expression to the separate departments and their unique activities. The accommodation is laid out as a series of six discrete blocks; each block houses key services and individual departments. The blocks are gathered around a large central space, a ‘civic forum’, which gives access to all of the council facilities.

© Andrew Lee

Open and fully accessible, the space supports the way-finding strategy with enquiry desks, public counters and informal seating throughout. It allows the building to be navigated in a safe and efficient manner, while offering opportunities for civic ceremonies, presentations and social gatherings. Separating the blocks, and filled with planting and serene pools of still water, courtyards bring light into the deeper portions of building and connect the interiors with the surrounding landscape, providing a sense of place and context. These spaces combine to place social interaction at the heart of the building and allow the public realm to pervade the whole building at ground floor.

Section

Internally walls and floors are clad in Irish Blue Limestone, a material which is synonymous with the rich history of civic buildings in Ireland, creating a sculpted interior volume with a calm, refined atmosphere. An outer layer of glass wraps around the blocks and acts as the outer skin of a double façade. This provides protection on an exposed site but also regulates the interior temperature through the control of air around the building; cooling the building in the summer and creating an insulating layer during the winter.

© Andrew Lee
Cite: "Wexford County Council Headquarters / Robin Lee Architecture" 25 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=162212>

5 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    What a complete and utter waste of space and taxpayers money. I should know this being that I’ve been in the building twice already. This was designed during the good times, yet built during the severely difficult times. Money, that could have been better spent in other areas.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Well done Craig Johnstone, John Stewart, Oonagh Collins, Brian McGinlay, Robin Lee, Graeme McQuaker and Iain Thompson amongst others for a building that was designed and just about completed by NORD, of which Robin was a Director. All worked incredibly hard. Sad that the whole team was never credited by anyone. LOTS of work and sacrifice gone unacknowledged.

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