The project’s idea is based on a rectangular plan, from which areas have been removed to form partly enclosed courtyards. This rectangular form also features an elevation, projecting the first floor above an extruded ground floor.
This is similar to the geographical location of the site itself, at the intersection of Slieve Anierin and Lough Allen.
The first floor timber-clad offices form a horizontal starting point for the rectangular plan. The remaining accommodation has been placed underneath, extending beyond and recessing under the first floor plan. The ground floor space’s height is determined by the landscape in which the building sits, at the intersection of Slieve Anierin and Lough Allen.
Image: District Veterinary Office Leitrim external view
The limestone cladding on the ground floor walls and roofs rests on a concrete plinth. The lower line of this plinth is defined by the ground undulations.
The timber cladding is cut and recessed to receive the windows. The windows in the building’s stone-clad walls are projected and hang like picture frames, expressing the stone’s impenetrability.
The effect of weathering on the timber cladding was considered: horizontal aluminium flashings, coupled with full height boards between these flashings, allow water run-off without staining. The limestone cladding is flush-detailed with mitred corner joints.
Image: District Veterinary Office Leitrim internal view
Internally, the concrete structure is exposed to show its texture. The finishes range from smooth finished concrete centrally within the plan, moving to rough, board-marked concrete for rooms on the outer perimeter. The final boundary of the building is the enclosing random rubble boundary wall of the rectangular site.
The ceilings are exposed concrete soffits. An attractive feature in circulation spaces and meeting rooms are the slatted ash ceilings, which act as sound absorbers in these potentially noisy environments.