Holy Spirit School

  • Location: Sillogue
  • Architect: Gerry Cahill Architects
  • Completed: 2005

The Holy Spirit Boys & Girls National School is located in the heart of Ballymun, just west of the Sillogue and Ballymun Road junction. From its opening in 1967, as part of the new town of Ballymun, the school has endeav oured to maintain its vision of “providing a secure, stable and stimulating learning environment”. The original school comprised three separate build ings: a girls' school, a boys' school and a communal hall/administration central block.

By 1999 the Board of Management of the schools found that safe internal passage between the separate buildings had become a necessity for security reasons, and also, that both schools required new classrooms and ancillary accommodation. The Board of Management, in conjunction with the Depart ment of Education, formulated a comprehensive brief that entailed providing five new classrooms, two library rooms and a range of ancillary/admin rooms. A safe internal passage had to be provided between the two school wing buildings while the hall would be retained as a multi-use school/community hall and form the central component of a new public face to the Silloge Road.

The existing single-storey administration block was demolished and all new accommodation was wrapped around the existing hall in a single-storey composition that would facilitate the internal communication link between all three buildings and preserve the tripartite identity of the original school and all external circulation routes.

All new accommodation is located on either side of a clerestory lit corridor, which connects with the rear of the existing hall. This corridor functions as both a gallery and notice board area for each school. This transition to first floor takes place within two top lit stairwells that form the springing points for the glazed connection bridges. These first floor walkways also serve to provide a canopy at ground level and signal (through the etched glazing) the entrance points for boys and girls.

The new accommodation is housed under two large mono-pitch roofs, tilted towards the sun, that overlap to allow natural light and ventilation into all corridor, classroom and toilet areas. As an energy saving measure artificial light automatically switches off if a room is not occupied and/or is above a certain daylight factor.

The existing communal hall has been completely refurbished with the addition of new external render, lighting and signage. The new building and refurbished hall have been designed to create a barrier free environment for those with mobility impairment. Window and cill heights are specified to allow for non-ambulant students to engage with the external grounds. A shower room and toilet suitable for the disabled has also been provided.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Thursday, September 18, 2008
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