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Solstice Arts Centre

Grafton Architects

The Solstice Arts Centre forms a centre point in the town of Navan in eastern Ireland’s County Meath on the River Boyne. Although in many ways similar to neighbouring Trim, from which it has taken over the role of county town, Navan lacked any centring feature to rival Trim Castle, and even the historic market place, until taken for the Solstice site, was an uncomfortable void: a parking lot except on market day- a gap amid the spires and purple slates of two stone churches. A tricky site for development with its sloping terrain and converging road system that eclipsed all sense of a place that was lived in. One aim of the project was to make an island of slowness in the midst of the traffic and the bustle. Raised above the road infrastructure like some man-made rocky outcrop, and embracing a kind of secret garden within its walls, the new arts centre sets up a dynamic choreography...

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