Blackrock Quartet - Blackrock Further Education Institute & Blackrock Public Library. The site - in a seaside town close to Dublin - incorporates the former Town Hall, Carnegie Library and Technical College, a tripartite composition of historic buildings from 1860 and 1905. A new L-shaped addition completes the implicit urban block – generating, between new and old buildings, two planimetrically equivalent but spatially distinct courtyards - one glazed, one open. These courtyards provide orientation points throughout: one ‘sea’ based, its floor screenprinted with a photo of shells at low tide, the other ‘mountain’ based - a fern garden open to the sky. The refurbished and extended building contains a College for 1000 students and the Public Library. The new building is without formal entrances allowing the
old Town Hall retain this role; elevations avoid hierarchy by giving equivalence to all rooms behind, except for the glazed atrium - expressed as a giant scaled ‘eye’ at the upper part of front and rear facades. Windows in the new build are full vertical openings between a matrix of floor plates, and slide along, abacus-fashion, to required positions. Internal spaces in the historic structures are sympathetically refurbished and matched with appropriate uses. The major interventions - courtyard and glazed atrium - are used to create light canons which make a focus of new social spaces for college students. Valerie Mulvin, graduated from University College Dublin School of Architecture in 1981 and founded McCullough Mulvin Architects in 1986 with Niall McCullough. Qualifications include - Masters degree in Urban Studies - TC
D 1991 - Conservation Grade One Architect - RIAI 2003 - Designing for Safety Certificate - RIAI 2010 - Member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland -1985 - Fellow of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland - 1998 - Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects - 2005. - External examiner at: School of Architecture UCD 2005-2010 - Cesuga School of Architecture, La Coruna, Spain 2008-2010 - DIT Bolton Street School of Architecture 2010-2014 - Welsh School of Architecture Cardiff University 2011-2014 - Cork Centre for Architectural Education/UCC 2013-2014 - Studio Advisor for Queens University Belfast School of Architecture 2010 - Co-author with Niall McCullough of A Lost Tradition: The Nature of Architecture in Ireland.