2007 – Unbuilt Dublin – Dun Laoghaire Library

Architect: Carr Cotter & Naessens


The winning design in an architectural competition for a new central libarary for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. The building finally opened in 2015.

The building form is to be kept low by using the entire length of the available site. The reading room of the library is expressed as a pavilion that relates directly to the bowling green; the building is lower at the end of the park, so as not to compete with the Royal Marine Hotel; The seaward end of the building tapers up and in to form a grand window overlooking the harbour and beyond to the Irish sea; The town clock will be suspended in this window.

The Cultural Centre is located at park level and at the level of Haigh Terrace. The main space of the centre will consist of a multi purpose area that may be used for conferences and seminars for up to 200 people; other facilities include an art gallery; public meeting rooms, workshop space, a public bookshop and cafeteria

The Central Library is to be located on the three upper floors of the building to optimise light and security; On the first floor will be lending, browsing and desk areas; the second floor contains the reference and study reading room, local history and other depts. on the third floor a reading gallery will be provided over the reading room with the youth dept looking out over the sea. It is proposed to make provision for the shelving of 234,000 books across the key areas of adult lending, children/young people, and reference; Specialist sections include Heritage, Music, Local History, Europe of the regions and Science; 40,000 DVD/AV items will be stocked; dedicated areas for Long Life Learning and board games will be established; there will be a central music library and a one stop shop public counter for information.

The external finishes represent an interesting interplay between granite, redbrick and glass, with the use of Wicklow granite rain screen and storey height walls in red brick. The combination of such materials is familiar in Dún Laoghaire, in particular recalling the Carnegie Libraries.T