Clones Library & County Library HQ, our firm’s 2nd major project in Ireland, is Monaghan County Council’s flagship regeneration project for the town of Clones, situated very near to the border with Northern Ireland.
Our work reimagined the town’s public realm creating a new public square within which the library sits. The library has been orientated north-south within a new public square to make best use of the site, whilst new pedestrian connections have been created that link the square to Fermanagh Street, the town’s steeply inclined main thoroughfare.
The building itself houses the branch library and local history collection, serving the Clones community and its environs, as well as the administrative headquarters for the County Library Service, from which the administrative and cataloguing services are provided for all branch libraries in the County.
The main library hall is a grand double height volume incorporating large scaled rooflight slots, providing daylight and natural ventilation into the heart of the plan. Spaces for exhibition, local history and outreach meetings are all readily accessible to the visitor, adjacent the main library hall. Carefully placed windows give direct views over the new library forecourt and the spire of the Church of the Sacred Heart to the north.
The upper part of the building which takes the form of an L shaped bar, contains the county library headquarters function, and projects over the pavement on 98 Avenue, the main access road, marking the presence of the new civic building. The main entrance to the library is signified by a cantilevered cubic form, which projects into the main square and contains the library’s executive offices.
The library is a key resource for the local community and has become integrated into the broad arena of on-going learning, self-learning, adult literacy, creative writing workshops, and activities for children. The new library therefore has been designed to be of sufficient size and have the necessary facilities in place to cater for the future needs of the expected growth of the town and the region, which it serves.
The building is clad in off white honed aggregate reconstructed stone panels, which give an appropriate civic dignity to the library’s dramatic architectural expression, forming a key landmark of contemporary architecture in the town.