McCullough Mulvin Architects completes Thurles Arts Centre & Library in Ireland
This building’s 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 river Suir. A singular folded roof encloses very different volumes, rising and falling like a small mountain range from a strong base - the boardwalk extended over the river. Crisp zinc planes define the library/media zone from the arts and theatre spaces, the entire building cranking to face the river with sheer planes of glass .Two storeys of library and research space are coupled to the high volume of the auditorium by the lower entrance and arts space. In the library a deep cut in the ceiling plane brings light and air to the centre of the plan. The exhibition space has a similar slice through the roof plane to conduct daylight. An introverted, reflective space, its walls splay out towards the riverfront, taking up the geometry of the site. Shielded behind the monolithic concrete entrance wall, the space can be glimpsed through a porthole when arriving, or alternatively closed off for hanging. The theatre foyer is similarly a compressed volume caught between auditorium and boardwalk.