Birr Community School


Peter & Mary Doyle


The Birr Community School (1974-78) by Peter and Mary Doyle Architects emerged from the democratisation and secularisation of Irish education in the late 1960s. Situated on a green field site on the edges of a small midland town, the architects reconfigured an industrial system used in contemporary factory building – the concrete portal frame – to create a series of rich spatial experiences. Varying the width and height of the section allowed the functions of the school to be accommodated around an internal street of high circulation spaces and large communal areas. The frame, essential in allowing the social life of the school to emerge, was also chosen because it offered an economy of means. Finally, it allowed the possibility of a flexible system, able to expand and contract according to need, what Peter and Mary Doyle described as an architecture of ‘no fixed form’.


up 2/4 down

up 3/4 down

up 4/4