2007 – CIT Cork School of Music

Architect: Murray O’Laoire Architects




Located on the banks of the River Lee, theCIT Cork School of Music provides a bespoke academic facility in a unique city centre setting. The 12000sqm ‘state of the art’ School provides music studios, 450 seat rehearsal hall, theatre space, music library, recording and dance studios, offices, classrooms and lecture theatres.

Externally the palette of red sandstone, buff limestone, blue brick and animated glazing reinforces the design of a confident, civic, and contemporary set-piece by the river. The theatre, rehearsal hall and tuition studios are solid and geological in form while the curved limestone façade reflects the river bend. In contrast the top floor library and studios act as light boxes, benefit from stunning city views and are reflective of the sky.

The main rehearsal hall, although a simple rectangular box, has great acoustic and performance flexibility. Primarily a student training space it also allows for multiple configurations through hydraulic stage, moveable ceiling and pivoting wall panelling. To achieve the rigorous acoustic performance criteria many of the spaces utilise ‘box within box’ construction with floating floors and ceilings, splayed walls and services isolated from the primary structure. Unlike most third level institutions there are minimal staff offices as they are innovatively incorporated within the music studios.