Robin Lee Architecture worked with National Sculpture Factory over a period of three years making strategic interventions and improvements to its artist facility in the docklands district of Cork.
Alterations to the existing frontage were made to enhance the visibility of the facility within the city and to create an appropriate expression for the unique activities housed within the existing building and supported by National Sculpture Factory.
An existing blind brick arch was identiﬁed as an opportunity for intervention on the building façade and an inﬁll panel of brickwork was carefully removed to create a new opening within the existing defensive frontage. The scale of this opening allows the large interior single volume of space within the building to find an appropriate exterior expression. Through scale and articulation it allows mediation between the interior world of creative production and the adjacent dockland quays, which was the historic focus of labor and commerce. In this context the historic warehouses presented blank and defensible frontages primarily for security purposes but also for reasons of robustness and utility.
Large-scale external signage pieces were installed reinforcing the status of the facility as an important landmark in the emerging civic and cultural quarter of the city.
Discussions with National Sculpture Factory revealed a dual desire for enhanced public expression and for the maintenance of secure, uninterrupted working spaces for artists to develop and make sculptural work. The new frontage expresses a civic intent to engage with the city that is tempered with restraint to indicate its function as a place of making and production.