Scoil Uí Mhuirí Extension

Dunleer, County Louth.

McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects

The external character of this latest extension to Scoil Uí Mhuirí Dunleer County Louth derives from an extended eaves detail (wall and overhanging soffit read together), and a roof geometry that assimilates single and two storey elements. The simple device of the extended eaves is used to give spatial depth at the Special Education Needs entrance - a welcoming space, a register of inclusivity.
The gestures of roof and form establish the scale and presence of a public building - an expression of civic society, beyond the simple provision of accommodation. The continuity of wall and soffit material spatially engages the building with its external areas; the finish is roughcast render with paint, both achievable in terms of cost and skills.
Schools in Ireland have become design exercises of very few moves, built and designed to a very low cost, and positioned within a very specific teacher-centered pedagogical context in which all teaching spaces are tightly prescribed and internally focused. Painted external render, the use and weight of colour, the continuous wide overhang and rainwater disposal, resonance with early 20th century German großsiedlungen and specifically Bruno Taut and Martin Wagner’s Hufeisensiedlung (1924-27) in Berlin-Britz.