The development of the new Library and 88 dwellings will aim to achieve high energy efficiency standards, which affords the opportunity to provide exemplar Housing and Library accommodation, but also to provide an enhanced public realm set against a civic Library building that has a more prominent location. The new apartments will be a mixture of 1 & 2 bed units and 2/3 bed duplex units. 40 units have been designed to Universal Design Guidelines as ‘Lifetime Homes’ to provide an appropriate housing stock for older people if necessary, in line with Residential Objective 5 (RS5) of the LAP.
The existing 16 number social housing maisonette units are unoccupied, and 62-63 St Laurence’s Park are unoccupied and are to be demolished as part of the works.
The aims of the project include the provision of a new Library with increased accommodation more commensurate to the scale of the population that will be served. Multi-functional spaces and rooms will allow the Library to be utilised in a flexible way. The proposed Library building will comprise 1010 sq m distributed over two storeys with the siting on the Lower Kilamcud Road creating a civic presence for the building which is lacking in its current location.
The new Library building will comply with Part M 2010 of the Building Regulations, Disabled Access & Use and will go further than this in some respects, namely by the provision of a Changing Places bathroom. The new Library and associated landscaping/public realm will provide a level access route from the Lower Kilamcud Road through to St Laurence’s Park, which is currently only accessed by a set of ramped steps.
A screen of mature and semi-mature trees to the N11/eastern boundary forms a continuous tree belt along the N11. The strategy, in consultation with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Parks Department, has been to retain as many trees as possible, to carry out crown lifting and thinning across a number of trees and additional planting of pine trees to reinforce the character of the tree belt.
The new Library main entrance and residential parking are approached from St Laurence’s Park along a traffic-calmed esplanade shared surface. This enhances the existing pedestrian route that exists on the site whilst creating a more appropriate civic entrance to the Library. The route acknowledges and anticipates the changes taking place in Stillorgan with Housing at the Blake’s Site and the Stillorgan Village Movement Framework Plan including the re-location of a south bound bus stop and provision of level crossing across the N11.
The new Library and Apartments will achieve 2019 TGD Part L and Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) compliance (Directive 2010/31/EU on the Energy Performance of Buildings). Choice and specification of materials will be based on life cycle assessment. High efficiency and renewable systems will be included in the design of the building. Excellent indoor air quality, optimising natural light, ensuring comfortable temperatures and adequate ventilation have all been important considerations of the design.
Site works will include a south-west facing residential courtyard garden and Library & residential parking. A spill out area from the Library is also provided in the courtyard to create a mix of uses within the space and the potential for a quiet external space for the Library. An entrance/arrival space to the north, signified by a totem, will act as a way-finding device to the scheme. There is significant population in the immediate catchment area for the Library and a high level of housing demand for 1 & 2 bed apartments, Lifetime Homes and for down-sizing.
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