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The Holy Faith sisters built the centre to share the beauty of our natural resources and the spiritual heritage of Glasnevin which is associated with the monastic settlement of St Mobhi. Here we hope to continue our mission in a spirit of inclusivity in contemporary Ireland.
The Centre will provide a gathering space for groups in the local community, including serving as a place for ecumenical and inter- religious dialogue. It will offer space for those seeking periods of tranquillity. The Centre will be available to former Holy Faith schools for staff and student reflection days.
We hope that groups will avail of the centre to hold events such as Board meetings or retreats, exhibitions, book launches, guest lectures etc.
We are grateful to our architect, Ralph Bingham and his assistant architect, Kieran Fitzgerald, of MOLA Architecture for capturing our vision and translating it into a stunning building; to Glenbeigh Construction and to Mr Mark Johnston, project manager with W.K. Nowlan, for delivering the building with great efficiency.
Design – Ralph Bingham, MOLA Architecture: We were particularly conscious of the vistas and views from the site and the pristine green lawn and yew walk in front of Glasnevin House. We wanted the new Centre to sit and float above this fabulous green carpet. It was also our intention that the new building should sit as a pavilion or folly within its classical setting and should appear weightless as an object building. We decided to use opaque glass panels to mirror its glorious surroundings. The external skin will thus reflect the trees, sky, lawn and convent buildings around it.
The plan of the centre represents a journey of discovery, a spiral and labyrinth. It is formed from a series of axial circulation routes which are geometrically formed to contain space. These spaces operate as a theatre, a sacred space, a multi- purpose space and a series of small office-size rooms, all linked and interlocked with ramps and steps.
The main stairs that rises up to the sacred space is on axis with Mitchell’s Cedar tree. The steps down to the theatre space are in line with the O’Connell tower and tree tops of Glasnevin cemetery. The view from the large curved window in the first floor sacred space acts as a lens over the city skyline. A large roof terrace provides a breakout area from the sacred space and as a further place of contemplation.
The exterior of the building is contemporary with a neutral colour palette of greys and whites the interior comprises natural materials of timber wall linings, stone and oak flooring.