Design competition for Tullamore Arts Centre opens

TULLAMORE Community Arts Centre Ltd is pleased to announce that it has finalised the architectural brief for the design of the proposed arts centre at Kilbride Plaza.

TULLAMORE Community Arts Centre Ltd is pleased to announce that it has finalised the architectural brief for the design of the proposed arts centre at Kilbride Plaza.

The brief has been established following a number of meetings involving the Arts Council, local representatives of the community, business and arts sectors of Tullamore, the executive of Offaly County Council and local elected representatives to establish the capacity needed for a community/local authority partnership in the delivery of an arts centre.

The architectural competition is being run by the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI) and competition registration opens from February 23 when the full brief can be accessed on www.riai.ie. The tender will also be available on www.etenders.gov.ie

The vision and intention of developing a multidisciplinary community arts centre in the heart of Tullamore, stems from a much documented need to converge and focus the creative potential of Tullamore; its artists, its young people and the wider community.

The activity at the centre will harness and be a catalyst for this creative potential by providing opportunities for participation in the arts as well as presenting a dynamic programme of local, regional, national and international arts events. The ambition for an arts centre in Tullamore is to provide the missing piece of its jigsaw, to drive the community, cultural and economic potential of this vibrant Midlands town.

It is intended to be a distinctive municipal building of contemporary architecture with good use of natural materials and light, environmentally sound in its build and daily use. The building will accommodate a number of creative and overlapping uses and the internal spaces will need to be designed to be flexible in accommodating these.

This will be a place where drama groups will rehearse, writers groups will meet, tutors will conduct classes, musicians will practice and artists will create; it will be a place to experience theatre and dance, enjoy readings, exhibitions and seminars, to hear, see and feel new experiences. The brief clearly requests that the centre should take full advantage of the site¡¯s proximity to the Grand Canal, board walk and the Heritage centre.

Quoting from the Government Policy on Architecture 2009-15, the brief states that, “The architecture we choose to build now is the heritage of the future. People of all societies have demonstrated that their buildings express the highest beliefs and aspirations of their culture & an expression of the human spirit. Among the arts, architecture is unique in being the setting for the life of society so that a high quality environment is an essential measure of civil society.”

The first short listing procedure will take place in mid April and it is expected that the winning design will be known by July.