The project is located in the seaside town of Rush in North Dublin. The towns structure, articulated along Main Street, is linear in nature. From the entrance into Rush to the harbour, four towers shape the skyline of the town: to the West, a ruined windmill, the Library, St Maur’s Church and to the East the Martello tower, overlooking the sea. The linear rhythm of the street was ruptured at its midpoint, in the first half of the 20th century, when a school was replaced with a surface car park, which has been recently rehabilitated into a public square. The side elevation of a former brick bank building, which forms our site, has become the unexpected backdrop to this new civic space at the heart of the town.
Our brief was to provide universal access to and within a new doctor’s surgery situated at first floor of the former bank building, currently accessed through an existing entrance from Main Street. The new rendered lift shaft gives an opportunity to upgrade the existing urban space by animating the existing façade facing the square. In an act of civic generosity, our simple utilitarian structure is transformed by the use of glass and aluminium fins into a new landmark, a lantern glowing in the night, addressing the public space and the wider city skyline: a fifth tower for Rush.
The existing façade is also enhanced by a new window with fins in the stairwell which improves daylight to both the reception area and staircase. Finally, a metal canopy with integrated lighting guides users from the main street to the lift.
Modest internal alterations include new accessible sanitary accommodation, waiting-room, and reception desk. Internal alterations are defined by a series of coloured timber fins and upgraded balustrades adding life to the simple internal spaces.