Presentation Building Library and Cultural Hub Carlow

Ongoing, Carlow, Ireland

The project brief requires the design team to first complete a feasibility study to establish the best strategy to redevelop the existing central library, library headquarters and county archives of the Presentation Building into a cultural hub and library for the town. The brief reflects the need to accommodate the range of services required under the new Public Libraries strategy 2022,

which embodies the concept of the public library as an interactive knowledge hub, a place for public assembly and exchange. The brief also states the significance of the Presentation Building in the town as a landmark and generator of public space, setting up a sequence of places knitted into the fabric of Carlow’s cultural quarter. This location, at the interface between the commercial the cultural quarters of the town, places the library hub as a link between these domains.

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The configuration of the historic convent building is restored to the clarity of the original rooms. A new building is inserted in the space between the museum and Presentation Lane. This is comprised of a two storey structure with book stacks and children’s library. The central foyer is a voluminous top-lit space offering flexible space for community events and information.