Civic Pride

Now home to Birr Civic Offices and Library, an old Pugin-designed convent building has been restored to its former glory by McCarthy O’Hora. he project involved the complete restoration of the convent, including the restoration and protection of the stained glass windows but the biggest challenge was getting light into the building. A disused central courtyard was reclaimed by relocating a boiler house and oil tank; it now provides a much used garden space. A Planar glazed exhibition area extends out into this courtyard. The Library is contained in the double height former Church and a lightweight mezzanine floor has been added into the space. Lead architect Conor Finnegan said: “We added an exhibition area, an extension to the building with a glazed roof and again that brought more light in. It went from being a very dreary, damp building to a light filled, modern office space.”

Plan Magazine