Inchicore National School’s brand new, state of the art extension is a sight for sore eyes. Awarded to a small architectural firm Donaghy and Dimond, the school blends seamlessly with its environment. Large windows let in light and bring the wooded surroundings into the classroom.
Not surprising since Dimond was also responsible for designing the award-winning Ranelagh Multi-Denominational school, while working with O’Donnel and Tuomey Architects at the time.
Unfortunately due to the current public procurement guidelines which favours bundling new school building contracts, resulting in many identical schools being built by the same builder, architectural requirements are often not considered. Donaghy and Dimond were only awarded the contract after two major builders went bankrupt, leaving a shell behind. In this case, the school board was allowed to get involved in the tendering process and decided to award the contract to a smaller firm, with an eye for detail.
Many would like to see the current system, which excludes fresh architectural talent from the process and leaves the school with very little input, changed to a more design friendly and inclusive process.