Blackrock Education Centre
Gross Floor Area
This was the first purpose built in service training building for teachers to be comissioned by the Department of Education & Science. The project creates a private inner courtyard, around which are grouped the various elements of the programme. Entry to the building is via a smaller outer courtyard which establishes the transition from the campus to the more private world of the centre.
The first and most open part of the entrance hall is addressed by the elliptical seminar room, the library and the administration and director's office suite. Leading off the foyer is a linear circulation/meeting area which looks onto the courtyard. It also serves the group rooms, which can be interconnected in a variety of combinations. The library, with its reading area is also expressed as a special element. The final, most private side of the garden is formed by the research base which looks back towards the entrance foyer.
The courtyard is of rolled gravel and is planted with specimen trees. It is a tranquil space, acting as a focus around which the elements are placed. Externally, the building appears as an amalgamation of various forms around a walled enclosure, with trees visible from the outside. the external finish is an off-white render, rather like the colour of Portland stone.