Sweeney Architects

OFFICES FOR MEATH COUNTY COUNCIL & NAVAN TOWN COUNCIL DESIGN COMPETITION REPORT

ARCHITECTURAL

The site is edged by the N3 relief road and occupies a position between an existing mill building and house which occupy the southern bank of the river Blackwater. Access to the waters edge is by the designated pedestrian bridge area to the south and the east via the lands adjacent the new bridge.

The site forms a buffer to the road which is currently covered in spoil and bushes. The site will provide access to the future park to the north of river from the town centre.

Our approach anticipates that the relief road will be down graded from a dual-carriage way to a treelined boulevard which will aid links to the town. The site is a approx 394 m long by 100m at its widest point. The access point from the west has already been determined.

Our project proposes to create a highly recognisable and unique architectonic icon both for the town of Navan and the Blackwater area. The site is a flattened z-shape. The urban park and wakways fuse the existing buildings, the new council buildings and the future buildings as proposed in the masterplan in a legible, singular and memorable form.

The overall schematic for Meath County Council’s new headquarters has taken its inspiration from the specific constraints of the competition site, its position, its sloping terrain, and its relation with the town and the Blackwater river.

The buildings tracks pedestrian access points forming the edge to a new urban park area unifying two future development sites to east and west with links to the river bank while allowing views of the existing buildings to rear

The parking area is substantially contained in decks not visible from the town side but as steps in the terrain when viewed from the north side of the Blackwater


There are three main building blocks that house the general office requirement which splay around a central area housing the council chamber and corporate features. The Navan Town Council is distinguishable by the access point to the west while the county council is centred to the eastern side of the central area while allowing ease of access to shared facilities. The central area is covered by an atrium area allows the building to breath and aids orientation and linkages between departments as well and providing and internal civic space visible from several approaches.

The form respects its position “between” the river bank and the anticipated development of the existing buildings while providing an urban edge and addresses the relief road and the urban centre.

The splay ends reduce the bulk of the building viewed along the northern river bank and respect the historic quality of both the mill and Blackwater house