University of Notre Dame – Global Centre at Kylemore Abbey

Location – Kylemore Abbey, Ireland
Status – Completed 2017
Value – €4.2m
Awards – RIAI Irish Architecture Award 2018 – Exhibited

The University of Notre Dame converted the former 1959 monastery on the east side of the main abbey building in 2016 to create one of the university’s global centres.  The accommodation comprised mainly student dorms, tuition rooms and a dining area.

The brief for this project required an additional multi-functional space that students could use as a social space, where larger lectures and presentations could take place, where performances could occur and where the natural beauty of Kylemore could be experienced.

Our building is conceived as a retrained rectilinear glass volume sitting on the roof of the former monastery.  The building sits back behind the original facade, which allows the new part to diminish in scale and appear as a lighter layer behind the original.

The green tinted glass merges with the natural colour of the mountains and reflects the natural environment of Kylemore.

Internally, the glass facade affords splendid views of the outstanding lakes and mountains of Kylemore.  Natural oak strips are used to balance the glazing and control acoustics.  Hidden doors, library shelves and a copper bar bring a sense of richness and ambience to the space.


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