Scoil Mhuire Tullamore

MCOH Architects  Scoil-Mhuire-01_sfw.jpg

Scoil Mhuire Tullamore


Project Value

Floor Area

Completed 2017

Co. Offaly

The design of the school required an innovative response to the complex site conditions, site restrictions, school ethos and DoES Requirements. The original Brief was investigated, discussed, expanded and redefined at numerous stages during the design development process in partnership with all stakeholders. This was undertaken in response to the School ethos, management requirements and innovative teaching techniques employed at the school in relation to passive learning. 

The project involved a major extension to Scoil Mhuire with some alterations and small extensions to the adjoining Boys NS located in heart of Tullamore Town at the centre of the Community. The ethos of both schools needed to be respected and reflected in the completed scheme. The scheme is also located on one of the main access routes to the town, and extremely sensitive from a planning perspective in an underdeveloped but prominent location.The developed design would alter how the local community would perceive the schools, approach the school, and use the schools. The Design Response also required both physical and visual connections to the town park adjacent to the scheme and at the heart of the town. Pedestrian routes, links and vistas were encouraged and the scheme was to achieve maximum connectivity both with the townscape and between the existing and proposed structures. The completed extension retains a prominent site frontage renewing the perception of the schools at the heart of the community, while facilitating and encouraging the pedestrian connectivity with the core of the Town.

The Site is located adjacent to the Town Park, and the design responds directly to this from an urban planning perspective connecting the primary school with all pedestrian routes; the brief required full connectivity in relation to both the buildings and the larger context.The overall site and schools remained in use for the duration on the build, with two primary schools operating safety through the phased construction and handover. The School also presented a number of challenges in relation to Universal accessibility due to the existing ground conditions and finished floor levels. The completed scheme provides universal accessibility to all areas, both original and new. The Brief also required that the drop-off and collections areas be removed from the main road and placed within the restricted site boundary. 

Internally, the developed brief and design required a unique departure the DoES Technical Guidance, where innovative passive learning pods were located adjacent to all classrooms, with visual connectivity to the traditional classroom teaching walls. Toilets were also gathered into blocks rather than being individually located in classrooms, resulting in a more efficient services layout.

In relation to DoES Technical Guidance the completed scheme is quite unique.Detailed 3-Dimensional modelling was required from the outset of the project in order to assist the Architects in successfully resolving the numerous building interfaces and the design development in terms of scale, height, massing, natural light and shadow projections. Detailed negotiation and agreement with all stakeholders was required pre-commencement including the boards of management, the adjacent landowners and the local authority with detailed phasing plans were developed and agreed.


Scoil Mhuire Tullamore