Carlow County Museum / Architecture, Fire Safety, Conservation


The project comprises the conversion of the Chapel wing of the former Presentation Convent (a protected structure) in the centre of Carlow to museum use. The new museum forms part of an integrated cultural and tourism complex and links into the Carlow Town Library which was established on the site some years earlier. The strategy in undertaking the project was to achieve the high quality conservation and re-presentation of the old building, particularly the former convent chapel with its historically important ecclesiastical fittings. Working with the Town Council we suggested that the introduction of a new build component of contemporary design would be important to achieve a strong contrast between the old and new. This new-build element comprises a small wrap-around extension to contain ancillary rooms; universal access and fire safety design. The developed design included upgrading of the landscaping and improvement of the public realm incorporating the former Convent garden. The design team, led by Michael O'Boyle, worked closely with the museum curator and officials from Carlow Town Council in developing the brief from feasibility study through to budget analysis and through Part 8 Planning, including consultations with the DoEHLG and other stake-holders.