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8:00

Swimming Pool at full length

The pool hall is the centrepiece of the Student Centre’s sporting provision. In addition to FINA compliance (so it can host international competitions), a system of movable floors and dividing booms allow for multiple simultaneous uses. The university’s diving, canoe and water polo clubs can adjust the depth and length of the pool to their requirements, without encroaching on lane swimmers. Technically, the volume is among the most sophisticated in the Student Centre. High performance materials included in the pool enclosure completely obviate the booming

Right The swimming pool, view from spectator entrance 20

Above right Section through café, fitness studio and swimming pool

echoes and leaking chlorine odour which beset other swimming pool complexes. In service of the building’s sustainability goals, the swimming pool is used as a natural heat store: circulating the warmth generated as the water is heated to neighbouring spaces, thereby offsetting their need for artificial heating. The three-storey pool volume is visually linked to the other sport facilities, and also to the academic wing. One of the biggest design challenges was permitting warmth and natural light to flow from the pool volume to the neighbouring spaces without

encroaching on the privacy of the pool users. Ultimately, a series of bespoke display screens along Gallery walk were developed to partially occlude the view paths into the pool hall without sealing it completely. A sense of human scale is preserved through the use of distinct materials on either side of a two metre height boundary. Low bands of black ceramic tiles and black sandblasted concrete, which contrast ostensibly with the vitreous reflectivity of the water and glass, mediate between the enormity of the structure and the relative size of its users.

Profile for Fitzgerald Kavanagh and Partners

A Day in the Life: UCD Student Centre by Fitzgerald Kavanagh and Partners  

A Day in the Life is a simple book about a complex building. The title comes from the body of research which prefaced the new Student Centre...

A Day in the Life: UCD Student Centre by Fitzgerald Kavanagh and Partners  

A Day in the Life is a simple book about a complex building. The title comes from the body of research which prefaced the new Student Centre...

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