BUNSCOIL AN TSLÉIBHE DHUIBH
RIBA Award, Civic Trust Commendation & AAI Special Mention, Bunscoil Phobail Feirste, Belfast.
It is no surprise that the mountain gives its name to the school: Black Mountain, Sliabh Dubh. Central to the development of the design concept was the idea of a clustering of the classrooms around a courtyard, where the conceptual framework of a taut plan and simple school typology informed the ‘excavation’ of two void spaces – a forecourt and inner courtyard – to aerate the built form.
Both forecourt and courtyard align views with the ‘hatchet field’ on the Black Mountain, both give central focus to the community of the school. Both give free additions to the teaching and social spaces of the school; and both afford the light and natural ventilation to the resource spaces that serve the classrooms. The plan is simple: the relationship of spaces layered to contribute to the teaching environment.