RIAI Accessibility Award 2006
PROJECT: Johnston Central Library and Farnham Centre
LOCATION: Cavan Town
CLIENT: Cavan County Council
Johnston Central Library and Farnham Centre is a new, three storey cultural and administrative building for Cavan County Council, housing the county library headquarters, central library, county archive and arts office, a new cultural events space, genealogy department, tourist office and council offices. It is located adjacent to William Farrell’s fine sandstone Courthouse on the principle street in the town and on the site of the former Protestant Hall. The brief required a building of civic presence which would also be open, easy to engage with and inviting and could accommodate the complex functional requirements of a number of services. Current societal concerns obliged a serious engagement with more sustainable design and construction solutions to reduce the demand on high energy service installations and informed a decision to apply both the latest innovations in low energy technology – geothermal heat pumps, low energy lighting solutions - while also adopting an integrated approach where the building itself is designed to maximise natural ventilation, natural daylight, etc. The societal imperative was also driven by Cavan County Council to produce a building which incorporated the latest best practice standards of accessibility for all. The design process involved intensive early and ongoing consultation with the client including upfront research and joint visits to similar building types. A collaborative approach to design development was pursued in an endeavour to produce integrated structural and service solutions.