14 Princes Street
Dromore
Northern Ireland
BT25 1AY

+44 (0) 2892 698424

© RE Quinn Architects Ltd. 2020. All rights reserved.

O'Neills An Port Mór Blackwatertown Community Sports Complex

Reinvigorating a rural Gaelic football club in County Armagh.

A view of the new extension | REQA Architect Design | Community and Sports Building - Extension & Refurbishment | O Neills GFC Blackwatertown Armagh
REQA were delighted, following a competition, to be appointed as Project Architects and work alongside O'Neill's GFC An Port Mór. The County Armagh sports club secured funding to upgrade their current premises into an improved Community Sports Hub.
 
Before our involvement, the building committee had invested time and effort to ensure funding and had a clear vision of the proposed function of the new facility. REQA interpreted this vision to present preliminary options to the Club, closely working with the Cost Management consultant to ensure the proposal remained within the budget. 
 
This vision entailed partial demolition of the central sports hall to allow for enlargement coupled with the retention of the building elements which 'bookended' it.
Aerial view of the building and Gaelic pitch | REQA Architect Design | Community and Sports Building - Extension & Refurbishment | O Neills GFC Blackwatertown Armagh

Externally, the building sits well on the site and relates to the playing fields.

Refurbished and upgraded Sports Hall | REQA Architect Design | Community and Sports Building - Extension & Refurbishment | O Neills GFC Blackwatertown Armagh

The building positively enhances O'Neill's GFC and what they do for the community that enthusiastically supports them.

The most elegant solution involved the creation of a single storey wraparound extension to join all the individual components (changing facilities, meeting rooms, kitchen, toilets, entrance foyers, internal and external stores etc.) coherently.  This link softens the impact of the most significant volume, the enlarged sports hall. It establishes a building of more relatable form and massing.
 
The project had funding dictated completion dates, and therefore all application processes needed to run quickly and smoothly. In these scenarios, we dedicate time and energy to meet targets. With this project, consistent communication with the Planning Service regarding the critical timeline was critical. Planning approval was swift, and other applications (including Building Control, Statutory Authorities, etc.) ran concurrently with the Contractor appointment process.
REQA provided us with a first class service and we have no hesitation in recommending to others. They completed all their work on program and to very high standard. It was a pleasure to work with them on this very successful project
Refurbished and upgraded Sports Hall | REQA Architect Design | Community and Sports Building - Extension & Refurbishment | O Neills GFC Blackwatertown Armagh

Sourcing a floor finish that can support a range of functions as well as  sport was essential. 

Any sports facility requires careful thought and consideration in the design and specification. We invest time to make the right selection of finishes and details. A new, sprung sports floor, capable of covering an array of activities, was paramount and essential to the success of the building. These decisions were of utmost importance to ensure value for money while keeping future running costs to a minimum.
 
The subtle use of the Clubs colours for the doors ensures the Club feel ownership of the building. This translates to the internal finishing as well. Carpets, signs and decoration all clearly represent An Port Mór. The entrance is clearly defined, and with the refurbishment of the retained changing facilities, the building now provides much needed modern facilities for the local community and further afield.
Meeting Room carpet in club colours | REQA Architect Design | Community and Sports Building - Extension & Refurbishment | O Neills GFC Blackwatertown Armagh

Floor and paint choices are made reflect the identity of the club - this is consistent throughout the complex.

Refurbished Sports Hall - Roof Structure detail | REQA Architect Design | Community and Sports Building - Extension & Refurbishment | O Neills GFC Blackwatertown Armagh

The facility holds numerous community programmes and events in the new space while the refurbished changing facilities improve the sporting experience for the Club. The building now positively enhances O'Neill's GFC An Port Mór and what they do for the community that enthusiastically supports them.

Data

Project

Extension and refurb of a community sports complex

Location

Blackwatertown, Co. Armagh

Year

2018

Scale

575 m²

Status

Complete

Typology

Community
Sport
Extension

Photography / Imagery

REQA

Latest Projects