West Cork Arts Centre



Skibbereen, Ireland



West Cork Arts Centre

In collaboration with Jesus de la Fuente Moreno, Architect.

Due to its programmatic content and its location in the heart of Skibbereen, the new West Cork Arts Centre is destined to become both a town beacon and a destination point for the West Cork region and beyond. Not only must the building reflect its importance with a strong and symbolic physical presence, it must do so as it resolves a rich and complex program comprising exhibition spaces, work spaces, and administration areas.

Morphologically speaking, the project is divided into two elements: a lower plinth and a potent upper volume that holds within the majority of the program.

The upper building volume emerges from the ground level platform and establishes a strong presence in the area. This volume contains within it the bulk of the necessary programmatic requirements. The strength of the volume is softened by a delicately proportioned layering of untreated teak lattice over the entire façade.

The wood, which will weather in such a way as to create a rough yet noble patina over time, makes the qualities of warmth, durability, and resilience integral to the building façade. The patina of wear and perseverance, often found in wooden artifacts that are meant to spend long periods of time exposed to the elements, has served both as insight and inspiration for the articulation of the project’s façade. A notable example is the ubiquitous wooden transportation palette.

The primary access to the complex is achieved by crossing the bridge over Caol Stream and entering the courtyard. From this courtyard three access points are provided to the core programmatic areas: one to the commercial space, a second to the central building functions and a third separate entry to the artists’ studios. A secondary access point is provided in the back through the Laneway entry at Townshend Street.


Jose Luis de la Fuente

Chen Ding

Garrett Harabedian

Brian Koehler