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Kilcoo Eoghain Rúa Community Hub

Enhancing a sporting village in the Mourne Mountain foothills.

New Sports Hall | REQA Architect Design | New Build Community and Sports Facility | Kilcoo Eoghan Rua GAC County Down
Kilcoo GAC is a well-established and successful GAA team located in the heart of the Mourne Mountains.  The County Down club is community-focused, playing Gaelic football, Camogie and ladies football.
 
Since 2009 the club has experienced incredible success on the pitch that upped their record to seventeen Down Championships and one Ulster Championship. Building on this success, The Magpies had successfully secured funding for a masterplan that included a gym building (ph.1), community centre (ph.2) and new changing pavilion (ph.3).
Community building Monopitch Roof | REQA Architect Design | New Build Community and Sports Facility | Kilcoo Eoghan Rua GAC County Down
Aerial image showing the building form | REQA Architect Design | New Build Community and Sports Facility | Kilcoo Eoghan Rua GAC County Down

Kilcoo GAC continues to grow as a club and a focal hub - the new building is central to development of local groups, individuals and businesses.

REQA was appointed as the club’s architect to oversee the construction phase of their new community centre. Before the commencement of new community building the club’s site boasted two playing pitches, clubhouse, community play park, walkway, gym and car parking facilities.
 
Externally, the dominant mono-pitch form is constructed with textured masonry. The choice of blockwork has a double meaning. Firstly, it reflects the location and proximity to the Mourne Mountains and secondly, conveys strength, a consistent attribute of the clubs sporting ethos. The rhythm of the main façade is established through columns regularly spaced and formed in darker concrete blocks. Between these vertical elements, lighter blocks provide depth and texture to the external aesthetic.
 
The main hall is suitable for indoor sports, Irish dancing and community gatherings.  In addition to this generous space, a meeting/training room can host smaller functions, meetings and computer training classes.  These main spaces are connected to the large kitchen carefully positioned to enable the building to cope with significant events in either of the main areas.
Community building recessed entrance outlook to the Mourne Mountains | REQA Architect Design | New Build Community and Sports Facility | Kilcoo Eoghan Rua GAC County Down
New Sports Hall - Roof Structure detail | REQA Architect Design | New Build Community and Sports Facility | Kilcoo Eoghan Rua GAC County Down
The inherited original design displayed the patterns of form following function.  REQA actively worked with the club and the Design Team in a value engineering process to ensure that a proposal could be constructed for the amount of funding available. We are reactive in these situations. Drawing on experience, alternative solutions can be integrated into the design package to maintain the budget. In this instance, the alterations meant that the financial targets were met.
 
REQA was able to help manage the other club initiatives on-going with the community building project. Extensive ground and drainage works were carried out on the site which would remain live and operational during the construction period.  Balancing these two schemes was crucial to the successful delivery of both. Consistent communication between the client, REQA and the Main Contractor ensured diligent navigation through these complexities.
 
During the construction process, the club decided not to construct additional storage space to further enhance the usability of the large hall. The kitchen was detailed with an eye on the future and allow for the installation of a commercial fit-out. Gas tanks were included as this would mean a future changing room pavilion could be heated more efficiently.
The vision for the new 500m² community building was to create a focal point for everyone in the area of Kilcoo and offers a vast array of community activities above and beyond the deep-rooted sporting culture.
Adam Quinn
REQA Project Architect
Getting alongside the client throughout a project allows us to make decisions and propose designs that will integrate easily into the long-term vision. We were able to do this consistently for Kilcoo to ensure the club and the community would benefit from future thought proposals.
 
Kilcoo GAC continues to grow as a club and a focal hub. The new building is central to growth as local groups, individuals and businesses can access much-needed facilities for the rural area of the Co. Down.

Data

Project

Rural community and sports hub

Location

Pairc Eoghan Rua, Kilcoo

Year

2018

Scale

520 m²

Status

Complete

Typology

Community
Sport
New Build

Photography / Imagery

REQA

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