The Organic Centre

LMN05

INSPIRATION

Commissioned in 1998 the plan was to expand the Organic centre which was then operating out of a number of smaller timber buildings and out buildings. The remit was to house a number of classrooms and a public area/kitchen and café. It needed to reflect the ethos of the place and the work of the organic centre.

As the centre of the Organic movement of Ireland and, with the expanding interest in organic growing at the time, this build was a big step on the way to establishing the centre and the organic moevement in Ireland into a more mainstream focus. 


TYPE OF HOUSE

Purpose built public Building. Timber framed, grass roof. Visitor centre, class rooms, shop, café and offices.


POINT OF INTEREST

With a turf roof and timber frame it fits in perfectly to the surrounding landscape.

Post and beam structure has worked well as it can easily be extended onto. They have since run a post and beam building course with Colin Bell, which extended one of the classroom.


ECO ELEMENTS


Built to fit in with the organic movement’s principles.


CREATIVE ELEMENTS

An unusual building that blends in really well to its surroundings.


ARCHITECT/DESIGN BY

Colin Bell – one of Colin’s first major pieces of work.

BUILDER

Dessie McDermott


MATERIALS

Foundations   Posts/stilts into concrete piers.
Walls Timber and eso-flock recycled paper
Roof Turf
 Insulation  Eso-flock
Finishings  Timber

HEAT SOURCE

Lots of solar gain in the conservatory, too much sometimes. Pellet boiler – but not great for a building that is not always in use; on and off doesn’t suit them. Have oil as a backup.


WATER SOURCE

Well water too sulphuric but is used for gardens. Mains for the building.


WASTE

Septic tanks, willow and reed beds and ponds – wetland area.


GARDEN

Organic gardens for students and public.

Demonstration gardens: vegetables plots, polytunnels, fruit tres and bushes and flowers. All organic.

Playground for children.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Built in just under 3 years. 

Since moving in there has been a number of staff changes and the building’s uses have changed as the centre has expanded and changed. At the time of the planning no one really could foresee what the building’s needs would be. If you ask the people who work there now, there would be a lot of changes made in retrospect. The main visitor centre has never been satisfactorily used – this could be because the emphasis of the centre fluctuates throughout the year form visitor centre to a teaching environment.

 

www.organiccentre.ie

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