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The Old Cork Waterworks (2005 - 2007)
Architect:Jack Coughlan Architects
Award Type:Silver Conservation Medal
The Old Cork Waterworks dates back to Sir John Benson’s 19th Century Cork City water supply scheme, although water was extracted from the area as far back as the 1760’s. The buildings were conserved and adapted by Jack Coughlan Architects to provide a new role as Old Cork Waterworks Experience featuring a modern interactive display on the themes of water, energy and waste.
Jury Citation: This project is significant for a number of reasons. In terms of the conservation approach, the disused buildings were repurposed and adapted for their new uses: the site strategy was for minimal intervention, but access from the public realm to the site was approached masterfully. The visitors to the buildings are ‘pumped’ up to the higher level in a glass and concrete lift, leading on to a bridge at the upper level. Thus the action of gravity on water and humans is reflected in the programme. This single decision to insert a very strong new piece into the site enables our understanding of the rest of the site. The existing buildings are treated with care, with openings and access developed seamlessly, with little impact on the buildings. The levels of repairs carried out reflect a modest brief and modesty is apparent in the consideration and execution of the works.