2009 – Irishtown Health Centre, Dublin
The Health Care Centre at Irishtown was commissioned to provide primary care services for the people of the locality. Patients visit the centre for dental, nursing, GP and therapy treatment. It also acts as a base for community based services. The building is located in the centre of Ringsend and Irishtown, which is an attractive mixture of small scale buildings of different periods. The centre is designed to complement these in scale and in choice of materials.
The presentation to the street is of two small blocks separated by a glazed entrance. The front of the building is stepped to respond to the varied building lines on either side. The higher block is adjacent to the multi storey apartment block to the south and the smaller two storey block relates to the Edwardian domestic scale building to the north. Both are clad in brick, a predominant material in the vicinity, and the brick on the centre was selected to complement the existing colours and finish.
The building footprint occupies most of the site and is very overlooked. As a result, the design incorporates a central top lit space around which the clinical rooms are grouped. The building form and the low energy design are integral to each other. The central top lit space provides light to circulation and waiting areas without being overlooked and gives a view of the sky and weather. It also tempers the air and provides the method of air handling within the building. It allows choice and variety in waiting spaces and provides control, both access and separation in a subtle fashion.
The design incorporates natural lighting and ventilation. It is designed to minimize energy usage both by installing high levels of insulation and by appropriate design of air handling. The facility is for the treatment of people who are unwell, so fresh air is used throughout.