Construction has started on the new Clare County Library in Ennis, Co Clare, in south-west Ireland. Designed by Keith Williams Architects, the new 2,300m2 project for client Clare County Council has been conceived as a new cultural hub for the town and the region. It will abut the town’s existing Glór Theatre (2001) adding the new County Library and a small contemporary Art Gallery.

Courtesy of Keith Williams Architects

The main library over two floors is wrapped in an undulating curved façade that locks the project into the site geometry and gives the project its unique identity. The county library service is placed in a simple bar of accommodation above the library and the art gallery sits on the opposite side of the main entrance in its own cubic form. When complete its new main entrance will form a single gateway to the literary, visual and performing arts contained within the complex.

Cllr Cathal Crowe Mayor of County Clare said: ”This is a new chapter for the public library service in Clare and I look forward to seeing the construction advance to completion in two years’ time.”
Ruth Hurley, Senior Executive Architect at Clare County Council said: ‘’The incorporation of a new civic building and library service in the town of Ennis is anticipated to contribute significantly to the enhancement of the public realm, enlivening the streetscape and providing an accessible and sustainable building for the users whilst addressing the growing demands on library services in County Clare.”

Keith Williams, the firm’s founder and director of design stated: “This is a very important day in the genesis of this project. By placing the new County Library and Art Gallery immediately abutting Glór, a new cultural nexus will be created uniting the three primary colours of the arts – the visual, the literary and performing arts – all in a single complex. I am very proud of the designs that we have created and I am confident that over the course of the next two years, a beautiful new public building will arise on this site offering outstanding library facilities to the people of Ennis and the region.”

Denise Maguire        
Editor of Plan Magazine