New Corporate Support Services Building for the South East Technological University, Carlow campus. This important project will provide accommodation to the expanding support services associated with the increase in enrollment numbers throughout the University. The proposed new development will bring together under one roof, a variety of support services functions that currently exist in dispersed locations throughout the SETU Carlow campus. These support services include departments such Human Resources, Finance, Estates, Development, and Academic Support. The building will also serve as the new Campus Reception and incorporates a new Commercial Kitchen and Dining space on the southern end of Ground Floor and a Café and seating area on First Floor.
Fundamentally the design is based on a simple rectangular form set diagonally across another simple rectangle. The diagonal form being the circulation and the remainder the accommodation. The diagonal volume open atrium spine with dual entrances approached from a semi-covered linear colonnade on the west façade. This colonnade serves to create pedestrian connectivity from the proposed new northern future developments towards the Campus Reception and onwards to the future Health Science building and wider SETU Carlow campus to the south and east.
The administration and support functions are orientated either side of the splayed atrium volume. The atrium serves many purposes including providing a clear arrival space to the building; contains the Campus Reception function (and associated back office); contains the primary vertical circulation lifts and feature accommodation stair in readily understandable and easily intelligible positions; open and connected to the upper level accommodation to create a feeling of a larger volume and also provides an efficient and low energy means for internal environment control. Meeting rooms project into the main atrium volume at intermittent locations to add colour and activity. The atrium is framed at each end with glazing for natural light, which is also supplemented by roof glazing to the middle 2/3 of the area.