The location for the school at Kingswood, Tallaght is a sloping, grassy field, split in half by a thick hedgerow and stream. By definition, the horizon is the apparent line that separates earth from sky, the line that divides all visible directions into two categories: those that intersect the earth’s surface and those that do not. In this field the hedgerow is this horizon. We like the idea of horizon because we think it is a critical aspect of designing a building in a sub-urban landscape. Very often buildings in such a landscape do not register the ground and sky and rarely occupy the ground between. Buildings are built speculatively, sometimes as if there is no context, as if suburbia was a non-place, a no-where. Yet we live there and we love there, so what we build should belong there. Buildings in suburbia must acknowledge both sky and ground. We think that a building that registers the specific ground-sky context of suburbia will feel appropriate to the place and feel at home. For a school, the idea of horizon suggests learning and knowledge [broadening one’s horizons], and if a school could occupy the horizon, students might made more aware of both ground and sky and be both firmly grounded in knowledge but enabled to dream and look skyward for ambition and inspiration, [reaching for the stars]. This school is a home for learning in the horizon.
Location: Ballymount Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Size: 10,000 m2
Team: CAST Architecture, O’Connor Design, Sean Nolan & Co.