The International Rugby Experience, Limerick

The International Rugby Experience will be a new cultural institution and visitor experience to honour the worldwide game of rugby. Located in the heart of Limerick, this ambitious project seeks to reinvigorate the city centre, complement the existing local arts and heritage attractions and forge links with Munster rugby.

the new building sits on the edge of a conservation area within Limerick’s Georgian Quarter. On such a tight urban site, the challenge lies in creating a building with capacity for the intended use but that sits comfortably in the context of the finer grain of the Georgian Quarter. The design approach was to consider this as a special civic building rather than a townhouse and the architectural proposals were developed through research into historic civic buildings set in Georgian streetscapes, referencing the scale of churches and civic halls.

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The building is crowned with a public hall at the top. A grand entrance portico addresses the main street, providing shelter and creating a public space below where visitors gather and fans can meet on match days. Both inside and out, structural forces will be expressed through brick and concrete detailing to create a building that reflects some of the forces found in the game of rugby. The structure and brick expression should provide a tangible link to the building’s function and will be key to the visitor experience.