RMJM in collaboration with Taylor Architects were commissioned to develop a new Engineering Building for the National University of Ireland, Galway.
The new 14,000 m² building provides a state of the art holistic 21st century learning environment for the newly re-structured College of Engineering & Informatics which unites the University’s five engineering departments – Civil, Electronic, Industrial, Engineering Hydrology and Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering.
The concept was conceived as a ‘Pavilion in the Park’; the New Engineering Building sits as a gateway to the Northern Campus, mirroring a similar relationship of the original 1863 Quadrangle to the South Campus.
Building on the long tradition of Engineering at NUI Galway, the new project captures the spirit of engineering in the materials and methods of construction, challenging the student/visitor to understand the nature of the structural forces at work.
The glass clad southern postgraduate block appears to float effortlessly over the solid podium base which lifts the ground plane on entering the building and brings the user to the first floor from where one engages with the panoramic view over the River Corrib.
Designed to be a ‘tool for teaching’, the development houses undergraduate and postgraduate facilities for nearly 1,500 students and accommodation includes engineering laboratories, research facilities, workshops, computer suites and lecture rooms. The design also incorporates a number of visible learning devices which allow students to monitor the building’s performance.
The zinc-clad development respects its riverside setting and a number of measures have been taken to minimize the building’s carbon footprint. These include natural ventilation to much of the accommodation, a bio-diverse green roof over the central courtyard, the harvesting of rainwater for use within the building and a biomass boiler for energy generation.
2011: Irish Concrete Society Sustainability Award
2011: CMG Building and Design Awards, School & Educational Building Project of the Year
2012: RIAI Awards Public Choice Award
2012: RIAI Awards Best Sustainable Project