Davis College, Mallow
Cork Education & Training Board
The apparently simple asymmetrical ‘A’ shape belies a complexity and variety of interconnected volumes enclosing over 5,000sqm of floor space containing all the varied functional requirements of a school.
The shape is derived directly from the context where ‘invisible’ forces emanating from existing natural (hills) and manmade (housing estates) landscape ‘sculpt’ the newest intervention to be both of itself and of the place.
The desire to bring light through the multiple storeys carves the interior volumes, creating varied vertically connected social spaces with undefined uses, (“the rug not the picnic”), an open atmosphere internally and continuous connection to the landscape.
The addition of learning space for 625 new pupils to an already full site, surrounded by suburban housing estates, with no additional land acquisition, posed a significant challenge to the project.
The design deftly negotiates the various challenges that this poses while delivering a variety of spaces and experiences which adds a great 3-dimensional richness to those in the existing school.
The shape allows the creation of high-volume single storey spaces at the ends which are wholly appropriate to the practical /industrial teaching spaces.
The circulation routes are 3-dimensional and interconnected by voids avoiding the tunnel effect over the 3-storeys.