University College Cork

A new art gallery and restaurant is sited on the main avenue between the trees in the river meander landscape. Located within the curtilage of the protected structure of the nineteenth century university quadrangle, the new building is a strategic element in the conservation of the landscape setting of the Lower Grounds and its integration with the College Campus.

Area: 2,300 sqm
Completion: 2005

The solidity of the stone base, the openness of the public space on the podium and the form of the timber gallery are three distinct characteristics of the architectural concept.

The Gallery is raised among the trees in an interlocking suite of rooms with selected views up and down the river. Interconnected in plan and section, the gallery rooms provide a variety of exhibition spaces from close control to natural daylight.

The cafe opens towards the west into a central garden between river and escarpment. An outdoor dining terrace provides views of the picturesque gothic College buildings.

The podium is the point of access up to the Gallery and down to the cafe. It emerges from the limestone escarpment like a manmade extension of the natural landscape. Acting as a pier between the main avenue and the river, it is both landscape and building, plinth and pathway.