The new Catering Services Building and Learning Resource Centre at the Institute of Technology Carlow uses exposed insitu and precast concrete as a primary visual element within the building. The high quality of surface finished on the exposed concrete is integrated with delicate detailing of adjoining steel and glass elements to give a vibrant use of exposed concrete. The use of the exposed concrete gives the Learning Resource Centre a comfortable and calm environment for study.
The finished building shows what can be achieved with very fine detailing of concrete structures. The building will encourage more Architects and Designers to use concrete in this way in future buildings in Ireland.
The implementation of the first phase of the Institute of Technology, Carlow Master Plan involved the construction of a Catering Services Building and a Learning Resource Centre. The Catering Services Building unifies the existing campus forming a new social and services hub for the entire campus.
The Learning Resource Centre is a fully exposed reinforced concrete frame constructed of both insitu and reinforced concrete elements. The central atrium space is four storeys high with a plastered ceiling penetrated by circular roof lights. The primary aesthetic of the space uses the fine details of the insitu and precast reinforced concrete structure to express the structural significance of the construction. There are a series of bridges which span the space. One of the bridges supports a very long span insitu reinforced concrete stairs with precast threads and landings from ground to first floor. A scissor stair is suspended from a second floor bridge to a first floor bridge.