Loreto Abbey Sports Centre in Dalkey, Republic of Ireland, consists of two elements, a rectangular sports hall and a smaller two storey triangular Pavilion housing changing rooms, studio and fitness suite.
In order to build the sports hall as quickly and cheaply as possible, the main structural walls are formed of recycled shipping containers. This creates a sustainable, robust building envelope, enabling the school to spend more on facilities and equipment. The expressive single skin roof is supported by modular trusses which span between the container walls.
The building envelope responds to the exposed coastal location. Materials are rugged and robust – shipping containers are designed to withstand extreme maritime conditions. Granite filled gabions, earth and planting are placed around the container walls to soften them and blend with the landscape.
Transparency and translucency are provided through open glazing to key areas and simple polycarbonate screens to the main hall. The jagged undulating roof reflects rough seas and granite outcrops, unifying the two parts of the building.