by Rachel 07 October 2011
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    Millfield is a new Retail Centre at Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, Ireland of area 22,000 m2 which was completed in April 2011.

    The centre is arranged around a curved glazed street over 120 metres long, linking the principal routes on the site. This street is set over two levels on a sloping site to innovatively achieve two "ground floor level "streets to allow accessibility from all sides of the site.

    In the Internal Glazed Street, daylighting is a paramount concern and continuous roof glazing is provided to give the sense of being outdoors although one is under cover. Excessive glare is shielded by external louvres, neutral solar control glass and curved laminated timber roof beams.

    High quality finishes including natural limestone, quartz and fritted glass are used to give identity to the spaces.This is expressed at the main entrances as a large glazed ‘Lantern' bay-window at the upper levels, which will have great views over the Irish Sea and the Mourne Mountains. Larch timber is also used and reflects the boating and nautical heritage of Balbriggan. Backlit illumination to fritted glass cladding and fabric ceiling create lightness to the interior which is especially effective outside daylight hours. A waveform and seal motif is used in the forms the main plazas and malls referring to the local seal colony along the coastline at Balbriggan. It is featured in curved planters and seating and motifs in the flooring.

    The design seeks to reduce emissions and to increase the energy efficiency of such developments, and incorporates sustainable elements that reduce environmental impacts to the lowest possible level including maximum use of natural daylight and ventilation, natural materials, high levels of insulation and airtightness. The interior design was developed in the detail design and rigorously pursued during construction to ensure the original concept was realised.


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