New Campus Building
The design appraisal of the new campus in Armagh considered all of the issues associated with a replacement college within an urban location on a site adjacent to historic buildings. Site restrictions and client requirements were taken into account, whilst concurrently addressing issues of aesthetic, scale, and massing.
This project is featured in the Swisspearl Architecture #29. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.
The Campus of the Southern Regional College (SRC) is located within the existing Lonsdale Road Campus in the center of Armagh City along a busy arterial route into the city. As the new building has a similar footprint to the existing structures, it does not greatly impact on the conservation area or the adjacent listed buildings.
The college has been designed to respond to the existing urban fabric in a more cohesive manner than its predecessor. The welcoming nature of the replacement college will encourage pedestrian travel to the site. Adequate bicycle storage and showering facilities are also accommodated to encourage alternative means of sustainable transport to the campus.
Careful consideration has been given to the height of the new building and to the choice of materials on the southern elevations to ensure that the new structure will have a minimal impact on the views of the adjacent historic courthouse. By stepping the college building down in height as it approaches the listed courthouse building and locating the building away from the main public road, the impact on the courthouse has been minimized. The ground level is clad in dark gray brick, while the upper two levels are clad in gray and white Swisspearl panels. This tripartite division of the façades into bands visually reduces the scale of the four-story building. Overall, the design is sensitive towards the courthouse in terms of color, scale, and massing.
The design of the landscape unifies the new building with its context and enhances
the setting and existing topography. A public meeting space has been created in the form of terracing to encourage the integration of the college users and the general public. An inner courtyard has been designed to accommodate a service yard, which has been visually softened by a higher-level planted enclosure. The upper level provides a break-out space, which provides a sensitive, defined area to enhance the quieter, reflective aspect of learning.
NICE TO KNOW
Southern Regional College
Armagh, Northern Ireland
Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects LLP, Belfast, North Ireland
Meraner & Hauser OHG/SNC, Bolzano, Italy
Swiss Facades, Magherafelt Co Derry, Northern Ireland
2018 – 2020
PDF project sheet
Swisspearl Largo Incora IN 090, IN 100
Read more – Swisspearl Architecture magazine
Find more stories in our Swisspearl Architecture #29. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.