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2012 – Luan Gallery, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Architect: Keith Williams Architects

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The Gallery is Athlone’s new museum for contemporary art and is located on a spectacular site by the town’s historic bridge, castle and the church of St Peter & St Paul. The project involved the adaptation of the historic 1897 Father Matthew Hall into a new gallery, the addition of new build wing to provide temporary white box gallery spaces, and a river gallery overlooking the Shannon. This scheme has radically altered the Father Matthew Hall, with the accretions added over time, having been swept away leaving the core form intact, and the elevations modified by the introduction of new large glazed panels opening up the building to the river and the Shannon Bridge. The new wing has provided contemporary gallery space with black out capabilities to enable multi-use gallery, lecture theatre/ cinema for film exhibitions, meeting space for literature, music, drama workshops, and digital art exhibitions. The two galleries are linked by a glazed entrance from the main road, and by a linear river gallery facing the Shannon. In addition, the public river walkway has been widened and extended at towpath level.

Photography credit: Luan Gallery © Ros Kavanagh Photography