The Ratoath College was designed by McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects is located in Jamestown,Ratoath, County Meath, Ireland. Ratoath College is an important institution of the public first in the community and can accommodate 850 students in second level.
The site is in a landscape of housing estates partially completed and has two access points. The articulation of the form defines the inputs, social areas, outdoor spaces and responds to the presence of two clusters of mature trees on site – a cluster currently in the south facing garden and the second setting the southeast corner west of the building.
The articulation is both plan and section, and gives a figure that establishes an appropriate scale, contrasting with the surrounding houses with two floors. Indentations or cutouts shaped blocks are exposed brick charcoal. The windows are wooden. Although non-orthogonal shape, the building type provides the Department of Education and the arrangement a science room and uses the space of movement and social activities to resolve the geometry.
The central entrance leads into the GP zone – the core of the school and central circulation system on both floors. The GP zone volume is oriented south overlooking the garden. There are volumes in the building that expresses the overall shape – the volumes are critical as counterpoints to the organization horizontally and vertically and diagonally provide visual connections.
The materials are used as found – cinder block exposed concrete pillars and sofffits rendered color planes, exposed steel railings and benches, precast concrete seating outside, exposed pipes etc.. The brickwork is built in areas to give depth and light filter (in the PE hall and stairs). Internal color is used deliberately – in a general context of color colored blocks is used for emphasis, contrast, orientation, and identification. Critical locations for the colors are coatings for glass screens between classroom and hallway skylights and color.
The building was constructed in the normal department of education science and expenses limits for second-level buildings. Floor area is 8020 sqm, the development started in 2004, construction in November 2005 and Practical Completion in August 2007.