MKO has successfully secured planning permission for a state-of-the-art interactive learning facility at the University of Galway. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, MKO prepared and managed the planning application by leading pre-planning discussions and drafting and compiling the application documentation. In a major achievement for the project, Galway City Council granted permission within the eight-week statutory period and a final grant of permission was recently received.
The project is a significant win for the University of Galway, a leading educational institution in the West of Ireland. The development includes a new stepped building that ranges in height from 4 to 6 stories. It comprises a Learning Success Hub, book collection areas, a variety of study spaces, a teaching and learning space, and offices. A new automated storage and retrieval system called a ‘Book-Bot’ enables more space dedicated to collaborative areas and group working rooms. The Book-Bot is a particularly innovative aspect of the permitted development, with only 11 existing in Europe. The facility allows for quick access to the University Collections, creating an efficient and effective service for staff and students. The ground floor features an exhibition area that will host a variety of public exhibitions and events to promote the region’s rich cultural heritage.
With a focus on accessibility and inclusivity, the new building will have generous circulation space that is easy to navigate, along with adjustable furniture and shelving. The building also utilises bilingual signage to draw focus to the Irish language on the University’s bilingual campus.
The permitted development is a welcome addition to the continued growth of the University of Galway. It will enable the University to be at the forefront of higher education and provide a valuable asset for students, teachers and the wider community.