Ballyfermot, Dublin 12
McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects
This project is about shelter, refuge, an oasis of care, repair and well-being.On our first site-visit (despite the bleak, hostile entry) we were struck by the oasis quality, an impressive rhythmic east-west line of mature poplars though extensive fencing precluded enjoyable landscape and the tar-macadamed entrance lacked welcome. The existing ‘limited’ 1970’s single storey, L shaped, red brick building with turquoise low pitch metal-deck roofing provided basic enclosure, relying on surface mounted, metal roller shutters for protection. While answering a real anti- social problem, this device signalled a defensive stance wholly inappropriate to the spirit of Candle. Rectifying this was essential.Doing so within a limited budget, using existing resources, acting sustainably was the design challenge. Externally our new 3D terracotta toned wedge form linked to the existing building strategically created new spaces - a welcoming brick, south facing entrance court and an east facing calming lawn.Internally, our new connective circulation was strategically conceived as the main social space having researched, listened and observed the importance of a simple organisation to assist orientation, confidence, thus fostering well-being.