An Gaelaras, is a cultural centre for the Irish language, and is situated on an unprepossessing narrow landlocked site in Derry. It is a sculptural intervention featuring an intriguing vortex plan that draws the visitor inwards and upwards.
The only façade and the internal courtyard structure are both made of high quality boardmarked concrete, evoking a sense of the scale of the neighbouring brickwork. It lends the interior a sense of gravitas that complements the use of plywood and painted plaster elsewhere. Walkways, stairs and handrails are coated in red oxide paint and these, together with the yellow window frames influenced by the yellow of scaffolding poles and blue painted walls that bring in the sky are deftly marked out.
Architect – O’Donnell + Tuomey
Client – An Gaelaras