An Gaelaras

O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects, Derry, 2009


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Dennis Gilbert (website)     Download Original

  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan     
  • Second floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • Elevation    
  • Elevation analysis    
  • Materials6    
  • Concept sketch    
  • Sketch of courtyard    
  • Workling detail    

Irish language arts and cultural centre on a constrained site in the historic centre of Derry

The building includes a reception, shop, cafe and performance space, located on the ground floors, while back stage facilities, start up offices, teaching spaces and boardroom offices are placed on the upper floors.

The rectangular site is contained on three sides with one narrow end facing the street. A continuous terrazzo floor connects the footpath to the building interior, minimising the barrier between outside and in.

A glass roofed board marked concrete trapezoidal courtyard is carved through the four floors of the building with stairs, bridges and platforms crossing and overlook the skylit volume.

The external street facade and internal courtyard structure are board marked concrete, cast against a formwork of horizontal timber boards that refer to the dimensions of traditional brick visible along the street. Glazed screens to the facade and courtyards are powder-coated aluminium.


  • Begun: Jan 2008
  • Completed: Jul 2009
  • Floor area: 1,980m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £2.8M
  • Procurement: JCT
  • CO2 Emissions: 42kg/m2/year
  • Address: 37 Great James Street, Londonderrry, Derry, BT48 7DB, United Kingdom

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