Drive Through Restaurant / Paul Dillon Architects

© Paul Tierney

Architects: Paul Dillon Architects
Location: Briarhill, Galway, Ireland
Project Architects: Paul Dillon, Zsolt Zsuffa
Project Team: Brendan Horan, Gerard Rainey
Structural: O’Connor Sutton Cronin
Quantity Surveying: Peter Costello and partners
Landscape: ait urbanism + landscaping
Services: Canney Associates
Fire-Engineering: Jeremy Gardner Associates
Main Contractor: Purcell Construction Ltd.
Project Area: 590 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2010
Photographs: Paul Tierney

© Paul Tierney

On this project the challenge was how to build a drive though restaurant on a site just off the M6 motorway on the eastern edge of Galway City. In addition to the motorway and a maze of other roads, the parking lot of Briarhill Shopping Centre, the Clayton Hotel, Briarhill Business Park also surround the narrow site.

floor plans

As well as the restaurant, the building has a small dry-cleaners drop-off unit at street level. The restaurant is on two levels; the kitchen, storage, staff rooms, and a small seating area are located on the ground floor. The first floor has most of the seating as well as a terrace and play area, which is designed as extension of the indoor spaces. Full height glazing wraps around this outdoor space, and protects from winds.

© Paul Tierney

The floors, walls, columns, stairs and roof are constructed from concrete, which is left exposed in many areas. Externally, three materials are used, , concrete and glass. The local walls are finished flush with the silicone-jointed glazing and the exposed concrete structure. The roof, which is overlooked from the shopping centre and hotel, is finished with a ballast of rounded washed limestone pebbles. Plant is located under the roof at first floor level.

elevations & section 01

As roads surround the building there is no real front of back to the site, and several design studies were made in deciding how the building might respond to its immediate environment. In the end a very simple form emerged, with a solid stone base at street, anchored to the site, and a glazed first floor, like a public stage above the traffic. Since the buildings entrances faced onto the car park small patios were designed to humanize the portals. This is a simple, robust and local architectural response, to an ordinary, everyday public building type.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Drive Through Restaurant / Paul Dillon Architects" 04 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • jeff

    This looks like every bank in every suburb in middle America. Is there a statement here about fast food and the banking system?

    I just don’t like this project.

    • boring

      You are right. Nothing special – an ordinary suburban project. Actually here’s quite interesting video-speech from James H. Kunstler at TED session where he literally kills suburbia. “The immersive ugliness of our everyday environments in America is entropy made visible…”

  • archi-troll

    Mmmm, I could get an In-And-Out burger right about now.

  • up_today_arch

    They just show clear shape and good selection of finishing materials… unfortunately it will be injured by outdoor advertising…

  • Quelava

    stvarno si tužan lik…koju korist imaš da to trubiš po svijetu i spemaš svaki članak na sajtu svojom gorčinom?
    ako je i sramota (a je), naša je. time bismo se sad trebali svima hvaliti?

  • martin

    Actually i really like the materialization of this project.
    Wondering how the interior would look like.

  • Shinco air conditioner

    Do you care if I reference part of this on my blog if I post a link to this web page?

    • Paul

      no problem, go ahead.


  • Sharolyn Magadan

    Good blog:D I will need a decent amount of time to absorb the job.

  • nagm

    very unique project