An Gaelaras

An Gaelaras


Architect: Architect: O'Donnell + Tuomey

Client: An Gaelaras

Photographer: Dennis Gilbert

An Gaelaras, designed as a cultural centre for the Irish language on an unprepossessing narrow landlocked site in Derry, is a sculptural intervention with an intriguing vortex plan that draws the visitor inwards and upwards.

The only façade and the internal courtyard structure are both of high quality boardmarked concrete, evoking a sense of the scale of the neighbouring brickwork. It lends the interior a sense of gravitas that sanctions the use of cheaper materials elsewhere, such as plywood and painted plaster. Walkways, stairs and handrails are painted in red oxide paint and these, together with the yellow window frames influenced by the yellow of scaffolding poles and blue painted walls that bring in the sky, mark out various elements in an architectural code.

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