Galway ideas competition
Competition Entry October 2009
Galway Harbour Company
Conceived as a series of blocks and voids wrapped within an umbrella of white glass, our proposals for a new harbour building in Galway attempt to create a focal point within the harbour, and a new reference point visible to the rest of the city. In addition, the proposed building is intended to act as an instrument or frame with which to view the surrounding landscapes. Situated on the front of the existing pier, the simple massing of our proposal, which consists of a main block with a pronounced horizontality, and a slender, “periscope”-like lighthouse, forms a protective enclosure for the ships and yachts nestled behind the quay of the harbour.
The internal arrangement of blocks and spaces allows for a sequence of varied spaces at ground level, which accommodate sheltered areas, external public spaces and viewing platforms, as well as additional marina facilities. The entrance sequence draws the visitor into the building on a diagonal approach, past the spire, with open views out towards the sea. Once inside the building, the entrance area opens out into a large animated atrium, around which the accommodation situated on the upper floors is arranged.
This protected internal street brings life to the centre of the building, and at ground floor level leads to the main entrance into the spectator space, providing generous break out areas before and after events. In appearance, the solid massing of the facades is broken by voids of darkness, creating the impression of the stacking of boxes behind the double skin facade, emulating the idea of containers stacked along the quayside.