Tailteann, Mary Immaculate College designed by Murray Ó Laoire Architects is located in Limerick, Ireland. Occupying a prominent location on the new entrance route through the mature landscape of Mary Immaculate College, this building was conceived as a pavilion type structure announcing an as yet unrealised extensive redevelopment of the existing campus.
Set against a backdrop of trees, the building is intended to have a powerful visual impact when viewed from a distance. When approached on foot a sequence of external spaces lend human scale to what is otherwise a large “stand alone” structure.
Three halls are accommodated within the building; one large hall, used for recreational sport, examinations and the annual conferral ceremony and two smaller halls dedicated to the tuition of physical education. Ancillary accommodation including changing rooms etc. are located away from primary circulation routes within the lower podium level.
The sloping topography of the site enables the main entrance to be located at the upper podium level allowing access directly into the public viewing area, which affords views into the larger hall and out over the playing pitch. This space is intended to facilitate informal chance encounters outside of the college programme and draws reference from the stoas associated with the gymnasia of ancient Greece.
The roof structure of the large hall, which spans diagonally across, is a dynamic response to the requirement for north light. Externally, roof elements are clad in black zinc, which contrasts strongly with the flamed Irish limestone used for the main body of the building.