Frances Lynch

Bachelor of Architecture (June 2014), Waterford Institute of Technology

Crystal Glass Centre

St. Patrick's Church, Waterford City, is to be transformed into a home for some mesmerising pieces from Waterford Crystal.

The colours, patterns and forms created by designers at Waterford Crystal formed a strong influence for this building. I was fascinated by the colours created in the glass, through the refraction of light, or ‘prism’ effect. I took this as my concept.

It is important, I feel, to connect the work of the designers at Waterford Crystal directly to the Architecture of the ‘Crystal Centre’. To acheive this, a crystal wall will be the facade of one building, similar to the concept of Jean Nouvels Arab Institute in Paris, and a partition wall is used in another.

Carefully positioned roof lighting leaves the crystal wall exposed to Southern light, and would produce an amazing array of refracted light colours in the space on a human scale.

An external shell would slide from one end of the church to the other - acting as a shade passing over the rooflights, and also creating a sheltered space for the required café.

Circulation within the building is based on movement along the wall. Visitors follow the crystal wall in order to see the displays in chronological order, the main feature is the wall itself.

The principal intervention with the orginal Church was to split levels by extending the gallery space. This was to provide a platform from which to view the chandelier peices. Also, the Crystal wall divides the church in two - seperating the demonstration area from the library and exhibition spaces.

The scheme includes a space to celebrate the history of Waterford Crystal, small crystal displays, Chandelier and trophy displays, a demonstration space, a café, library and archives, offices and storage.