Evidence of Time

Gallery and Library at Shirley Demesne, Carrickmacross

The project was based around a brief to merge the Shirley book collection, half of which remains in Shirley’s Castle and half of which sits in the National Library of Ireland.
The proposed building sits in a more public area of the original demesne, to allow the historical collection to be more accessible and help open up the site’s history to the public.

The design, plan, and form deals directly with themes of time, weathering, and history. It seeks to isolate the visitor in an area where their sense of time is challenged and distorted, so they feel a greater attachment to the history and story of the place.

The plan of the building intentionally creates a sense of strong arrival and confuses the visitor so they lose their sense of the time of day and where they are located. The building is intentionally buried deep in the woods, where the entrance is at the end of a long winding path through the forest.
Finally, the building is purposefully detailed in a way to increase the weathering of the building/facade, again distorting the visitor’s sense of the age of the building and place.

The project is heavily influenced by Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions.