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NEWS

02

Dec

Boyne Dental & Implant Clinic at Courthouse, Navan, Co. Meath

  • By Cooney Architects

DSC05745DSC05621DSC05633DSC05667DSC05686Cooney Architects are delighted to hear that our most recent dental fit-out for Boyne Dental & Implant Clinic at Courthouse, Navan, has been short-listed for 7 out of 13 categories for the Irish Dentistry Award 2016.  “Most Attractive Practice” and “Most Improved Practice” are some of  the categories entries for the Irish Dentistry Award 2016.

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06

Nov

Frank Cooney attended Realising the Hidden Potential of “IRELAND’S TOWNS” by the Heritage Council

  • By Cooney Architects

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Congratulation to Heritage Council “Colm Murray” and all the speakers on the excellence event!

02

Nov

Design Excellence: Learning from Dunganny

  • By Cooney Architects

Article By Sean Ó Laoire 

(Sean Ó Laoire was founding Director of Murray Ó Laoire Architects (1979 – 2010), and is a former President of the RIAI. He is currently a consultant to MOLA Architecture)

The Meath vs. Dublin clashes of 1991 are now part of G.A.A folklore. It took four games, over five hours and 40 minutes, before the “Royals” edged the tie on an aggregate score line of 6-44 to 3-52, – an epic sequence, witnessed by around 240,000 people, excluding television viewers in Ireland and abroad.

It was on the Friday before the ultimate decider that my engineer friend, Pearse, a proud son of St. Margaret’s, North Dublin, removed his “junior infant” daughter from a National School in Ashbourne, in frenzied anger at the temerity of her teacher to instruct her class in the making of paper hats in Meath colours. Such is the passion of tribal rivalry. The child never returned.

No doubt similar passions drove the men of Meath and Louth in what is generally accepted to be the first reported match of an antecedent form of Gaelic football, played in Slane in 1712. Teams of between 25-100 men engaged across swaths of the Meath landscape in proxy warfare.

Fast forward to 1884 – Michael Cusack, caricatured by James Joyce, as the bigoted “Citizen” in Ulysses, co- founded the G.A.A. Cusask was, among other things, a passionate lover of cricket – perhaps the quintessential English sport. Cricket spawned a distinct architectural typology – The Pavilion, with a myriad expression of scale and style over time and place.

In Ireland, Handball, codified and subsumed in to the G.A.A, spawned the “Ball Alley” a ubiquitous and eloquent expression of an indigenous sport, – marking a place and creating a space for community sporting and social engagement. Ball alleys are particularly Irish vernacular Structures, evident throughout rural Ireland, where the “mental map” of a county or community was, certainly until the mid 20th Century, navigable by building types with a distinctly Irish accent, notably Churches, creameries, pubs, National Schools, and yes, G.A.A grounds.

The landscape of Slane today would be unrecognizable to the men who took part in the battle of 1712, just as it would be to our ancient ancestors who bestowed their mystical imprint on the Boyne Valley. County boundaries, the territorial and tribal vessels of the G.A.A, belie the radical transformation in our islands population distribution, its economic base, settlement patterns and landscape. Dunganny today, in the Boyne Valley, is testimony to the reality of the transformation, and frames the challenge of colonizing a pastoral landscape with a new Irish building typology – a G.A.A “Centre of Excellence”.

The expression of an archetypal G.A.A ground was and is a complete and honest expression of generations of community and voluntary endeavor – the soul and heart beat of a unique organisation, which has singularly demonstrated a capacity to regenerate and adapt to radical societal change. The dedication of the Dunganny “Centre of Excellence” to the Children of Meath is testimony to the G.A.A’s, and Coiste na Mí’s mission and vision.

Until recently, the G.A.A has been, for a variety of reasons, an “architect free” zone.

That being said, my esteemed friend and colleague, Des McMahon, in the service of the vision and ambition of the G.A.A, singularly demonstrated what a talented architect would contribute to a building type that had heretofore been seen as the sole province of the engineer. His work – Croke Park, – the Cathedral of the G.A.A, is total architecture, where form and function fuse magically and memorably, to present one of the great stadiums of the world, with a unique communal patron, the G.A.A, as design champion.

The spirit of that communal patronage and ambition is evident in Cooney Architect’s approach to the design of Dunganny’s “Centre of Excellence”.

The generator of the building plan, a courtyard, is a form with strong cultural and historical resonances, be it formally in medieval monasteries, or less formally in the farmyards of Co. Meath.

The pigmented plaster, which unifies the buildings expression, to me testifies to the architects appreciation of how, for instance, a 19th Century material, corrugated iron, often painted with “red-lead”, insinuated itself into vernacular architecture, in an inevitable, harmonious, and organic manner as a roofing and walling material for farm buildings.

In short, the architects have informed their design, with sensitivity for Meath’s landscape heritage, and the layers of history which have formed it.

In doing so they have resisted overt historical references to design a Centre, which is at once an elegant resolution of a complex brief and an essay about building in the Irish landscape – one of our many challenges as a society.

On the edge of Europe, wide skies and ever changing cloudscapes orchestrate the play of light on our buildings and landscapes. Cooney Architects have celebrated this unique interplay in their use of light, skillfully adapted to service the needs of the diverse components of the complex.

The diversity of functions and the various users of spaces, will share a communal dining space and a sheltered courtyard, where it is easy to imagine six-year olds mingling with their heroes, Managers meeting journalists, and visiting teams and rivals conjoining in post match banter.

Michael Cusack would have had more than a passing acquaintance with Cricket Pavilions. We can but wonder how he would respond to this legacy of his vision for Gaelic sports – I suspect he would rejoice.

I submit with conviction that Dunganny’s “Centre of Excellence” will become a benchmark, for similar projects elsewhere, and indeed a qualitative reference for similar buildings in similar landscapes.

I further trust that its quality will embolden the family of the GAA, to place excellence of design at the heart of its vision and mission.

As landscaping matures, and built form and landform further fuse, there is a part of me, that hopes that future generations may view the building and its attendant pitches through a foreground of golden barley, as I did.

The GAA, Coiste na Mí, the Architects, the Design Team, the Contractor and all associated with its realisiation, can be rightly proud of their achievements.

Beir Bua is Beannacht.

16

Sep

Meath GAA Centre of Excellence Grand Opening

  • By Cooney Architects
T  H  E
DUNGANNY 
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
O  F   F   I   C   I   A   L         O   P   E   N   I   N   G 
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Join us this Saturday the 19th September at 5pm.a
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CA-Invitation

 

08

Sep

Detail at Campus Pavilion Building

  • By Cooney Architects

Campus Pavilion Building at National Sports Campus handed over to client

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18

Aug

CooneyArchitects On-site Journey

  • By Cooney Architects
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CooneyArchitects Team Photo at Meath GAA’s Centre of Excellence, Trim.

The month of August may mean “Holidays” for many. For CooneyArchitects, with a busy schedule of on-site projects,  it meant organizing a trip to site for an architectural review and inspiration. With many projects scheduled to be finished in September, as an architect’s team, we cannot guarantee that some snagging did not happen!

The team started the round at the Campus Pavilion Building, the centralised conference facility for the National Sports Campus, in Blanchardstown. While at the National Sport Campus, our office also paid a visit to two more facilities: the High Performance Training Centre for the Irish Institute of Sport building and the Upper Courtyard building, forming part of the Abbottstown House. CooneyArchitects were involved until planning application stage for the Irish Institute of Sport High Performance Training facilities. Including Ireland’s first 100m indoor running track, this Centre will be for the olympic athletes in preparation for the Ireland’s team for Rio 2016 Olympics. For the listed building Abbotstown Courtyard, full Planning Permission has been recently granted and will be kicking off soon at our office, with the NSCDA Office Accommodation being moved here.

The dental surgery fit-out at the Courthouse, in Navan, was the next project to be visited. This listed building, previously a solicitor’s office, uncovered some very unique details such as historic cornicing and painted frieze, dating to the early 20th century.

The last project of the day was the Meath GAA’s Centre of Excellence, in Trim. With natural ventilated changing areas and outstanding colour, the Meath Centre of Excellence is here to connect the local GAA community: the past, present and future.

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View through the courtyard at Meath GAA’s Centre of Excellence, Trim.

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View at one of the entrances for the Campus Pavilion Building at National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown.

Interior of the High Performance Training Centre for the Irish Institute of Sport at the National Sports Campus, in Blanchardstown

Interior of the High Performance Training Centre for the Irish Institute of Sport at the National Sports Campus, in Blanchardstown.

Abbotstown Courtyard, future NGB Offices Accommodation.

Abbotstown Courtyard, future NGB Offices Accommodation.

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View of the Courthouse existing front elevation, in Navan.

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Amazing detail uncovered during works at the Courthouse, in Navan.

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Where the past and present are overlaid. Reminiscence of the building story itself, with the frieze and cornicing detail to be exposed in the some areas of the building.

#teambuildingweekend!

10

Jul

Meath GAA Centre of Excellence is nearly ready

  • By Cooney Architects

Only a month to go until final completion. Cooney Architects are very excited for its evolution and built form.

Below, pictures of the development.

GAA Centre of Excellence

Final external works being carried out at Dunganny GAA Centre of Excellence.

View: exciting opening and form at the Gymnasium area at Dunganny GAA Centre of Excellence, Co. Meath.

01

Jul

CooneyArchitects GOLD Winner of the International Green Apple Awards

  • By Cooney Architects

CooneyArchitects were announced as GOLD Winner for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage by the International Green Apple Awards. The entered project was Leitrim Innovation & Growth Centre, in Carrikk-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

Our practice is delighted with the prize and even more looking forward to the Award Collection Ceremony which will be held in November in the Houses of Parliament, in London.

06

May

Green Apple Award 2015 in house

  • By Cooney Architects

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CooneyArchitects were notified for one of the prestigious Green Apple Awards 2015! The price’s category will be released next month in London. We will keep you up-to-date ‪#‎welldonetoeveryone‬ ‪#‎cooneyarchitects

26

Mar

Planning Permission Granted for the National Velodrome and Badminton Centre at the National Sports Campus, Abbotstown, Dublin 15

  • By Cooney Architects

The National Velodrome and Badminton Centre was granted planning permission.

CooneyArchitects are the Project Architects for the first Velodrome in Ireland to be located at the National Sports Campus, in Abbotstown, Dublin 15.

The architectural design proposal responds equally to the specific functional requirements and the dynamic nature of the sports of badminton and cycling. Sweeping curved trusses enclose the sports areas, replicating the sweeping curves of the Velodrome track or the fluid movement of the badminton player, to create an atmospheric arena environment.

Accommodation: It is proposed to provide a National Training Arena for Cycling Ireland and Badminton Ireland. The proposed Arena will be used for training purposes mainly, and occasionally for national championship track cycling meetings, for current and future Olympics, Paralympics and Special Olympics.

The National Velodrome and Badminton Centre - Balsa Model

The National Velodrome and Badminton Centre – Balsa Model

Perspective of the National Velodrome and Badminton Centre, in Abbotstown

Perspective of the National Velodrome and Badminton Centre, Abbotstown, Dublin 15

Capturing the National Velodrome and Badminton Centre, in Abbotstown

Capturing the National Velodrome and Badminton Centre, Abbotstown, Dublin 15