Public Library & Outdoor Bathing Facilty

Physical Models and Photoshop Renderings

Sketchup Models with Photoshop

Floor Plans and Site Section in Context


We were assigned the seaside town of Passage West in Cork to be our area of study in third year. The brief for this project required a public library to be designed and for a community “plug in” to be incorporated.


I researched the history of Passage West, and was intrigued by the prominence of public bathing facilities by the shore front during the late 19th century. A Turkish bath proved popular amongst the areas residents and many tourists were also drawn to its novelty. I wanted to recreate this facility within the design, which would help the now dilapidated town regain its lustre.


The site I chose was a muddy dry dock for small boats, and I wanted to design my public seawater bathing facility here. The pool was to be tidally dependent and external so that anyone could use it. An old railway line, now used as a public walkway, ran alongside the shoreline and acts as a pedestrianized route way to the bathing facility and the public library. I wanted to juxtapose the energy of the bathing area with the calm nature of the library, to create a unique experience for the visitor.


The library is composed of three elements – the solid concrete service core anchoring the building to the site, the external stairway which continues out of the bathing area from the plaza, and the steel “box” which contains the library reading area. The purpose of this design is to provide a library which is lifted off and sheltered from the noisy roadway, while availing of the views out towards the estuary. The service core contains offices, photocopying and microfiche rooms with added study rooms for the nearby schools to avail of. An exhibition space and cafe occupy the ground floor, allowing the public to wander past or into the building. This, along with the bathing area, gives great vitality to the ground floor, while a much calmer and studious realm is created in the upper stories.


Textured cast in situ concrete is utilized in the construction of the service core and the stairway, while steel is employed in the cantilevered box that houses the library reading area. This box is wrapped in glazing to avail of light and views.


3rd Year; Passage West, Cork


3rd Year; University College Cork