3D composite render of Clare County Library & Art Gallery Ireland from the South West

10 February 2020 : Construction starts on Clare County Library & Art Gallery in Ennis Co. Clare, Ireland

Construction has started on Keith Williams Architects’ new Clare County Library and Art Gallery in Ennis, Co Clare, in south-west Ireland.

The new 2,300m2 project for client Clare County Council, has been conceived as a new cultural hub for the town and the region. It will abut the town’s existing Glór Theatre (2001) adding the new County Library and a small contemporary Art Gallery.

The main library over two floors is wrapped in an undulating curved façade that locks the project into the site geometry and gives the project its unique identity. The county library service is placed in a simple bar of accommodation above the library and the art gallery sits on the opposite side of the main entrance in its own cubic form.

The main entrance of the Clare County Library and Art Gallery will link directly withers existing Glór (theatre) forming a single gateway to the literary, visual and performing arts contained within the complex.


Cllr Cathal Crowe Mayor of County Clare said ….”this was a new chapter for the public library service in Clare and I look forward to seeing the construction advance to completion in two years time”


Helen Walsh : County Librarian said….”Clare has always been to the forefront of library innovation and it is fitting that a 21st century library will be delivered for the citizens of Ennis and the county. It is exciting to think that by the end of 2021 – this new library will be standing in an embracing arm around Glór helping to showcase the best of what is on offer in the county in the visual, literary and performing arts”.


Ruth Hurley : Senior Executive Architect at Clare County Council commented “The incorporation of a new civic building and library service in the town of Ennis is anticipated to contribute significantly to the enhancement of the public realm, enlivening the streetscape and providing an accessible and sustainable building for the users whilst addressing the growing demands on library services in County Clare’’. 


Keith Williams, the firm’s founder and director of design stated, “This is a very important day in the genesis of this project. By placing the new County Library and Art Gallery immediately abutting Glór, a new cultural nexus will be created uniting the 3 primary colours of the arts – the visual, the literary and performing arts – all in a single complex. I am very proud of the designs that we have created and I am confident that over the course of the next 2 years, a beautiful new public building will arise on this site offering outstanding library facilities to the people of Ennis and the region.”


Client Team:

Director : Anne Haugh

Project Coordinator : Helen Walsh, County Librarian

Project Manager : Ruth Hurley, Senior Executive Architect


The designated construction team working with Keith Williams Architects on the project include:

ARUP                        :                 structural and civil engineers

AxisEng                    :                 MEP Engineer

AECOM                    :                 Cost Consultancy

OLM                          :                 PSDP

Keating                     :              Main Contractor


The project is funded by:

Dept. of Rural and Community Development

Dept. of Housing, Planning and Local Government

European Regional Development Fund (2014-2020)

Clare County Council


The project features at:


Architects Journal : Work starts on Keith Williams’ cultural hub in west Ireland

Tenderstream online : Construction Begins on Clare County Library

e-architect : Clare County Library, Ennis

World Architecture News : Construction commences on Ireland’s new Clare County Library