“Progressive” and “exciting” is how Labour city councillor Tom Shortt described the new president’s residence at the University of Limerick, which others have termed “lavish” and “extravagant” in the current economic climate. However, Cllr Shortt said just because this was a period of cutbacks, didn’t mean we should abandon visionary ideas.
Funded by private philanthropic donations, for this specific purpose, Cllr Shortt said the residence will provide inspiration for the university’s architecture students, as it has been designed by the award-winning Irish architect Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects. “Our university has not been standing still, and that it a very good thing. It will be an inspiration to young architects studying there. I think the money is being well spent, and we need a bit of vision at the moment. Maybe we could take a leaf out of their book in the city. UL is terribly important to the image of Limerick city itself. If UL proved to be prestigious internationally then that benefits Limerick,” said Cllr Shortt.
He said the house possessed a number of attributes, including its architectural design, environmentally friendly features such as geothermal heating whereby “it could pay for itself in time”, and the fact that its president will reduce commuting and congestion by “literally living on the job.”