The Dominican Sisters established a community at Taylor’s Hill in 1845, and over the following 170 years have developed a large campus of various educational and community buildings at this location. This new convent residence building provides contemporary level access accommodation for a community of 10 elderly sisters on a sloping site beside the original convent structure.
The cloistered monastery typology has been re-interpreted as a deep plan single-storey building lit internally by two planted courtyards. Bedrooms are orientated to the east and west, with archive and laundry to the north. To the south, the common room and dining room access a broad covered terrace overlooking new gardens and enjoying a view to Salthill below and the sea and mountains beyond.
A number of important remnants of a previous convent building recently demolished, such as stained glass windows are incorporated into the new structure. The building is also home to a significant treasury of artefacts and records of the Dominican order in Galway.
The roof form is a distortion of a traditional double pitched roof, twisted to incorporate taller volumes at the south-eastern and north-western corners to accommodate the chapel and the library and folded in to the centre of the plan to prevent overshadowing of the courtyards.
The chapel and library spaces are constructed with monolithic wall thickness to increase acoustic separation. This wall thickness is further manipulated to create a constantly changing orchestration of natural light.
The building is finished in white pigmented render with detailing in insitu concrete and a weathered zinc roof.