O'Neill's GFC An Port Mór, Blackwatertown


Upgrading a community sports complex immersed in its rural surroundings.

Sports Hall refurbishment.

REQA were delighted, following a competition, to be appointed as Project Architects and work alongside O'Neill's GFC An Port Mór. The County Armagh sports club secured funding to upgrade their current premises into an improved Community Sports Hub.

Before our involvement, the building committee had invested time and effort to ensure funding and had a clear vision of the proposed function of the new facility.

REQA interpreted this vision to present preliminary options to the Club, closely working with the Cost Management consultant to ensure the proposal remained within the budget.  This vision entailed partial demolition of the central sports hall to allow for enlargement coupled with the retention of the building elements which 'bookended' it.

Aerial view of building extension overlooking pitch.
New sports floor.

The building now positively enhances O'Neill's GFC An Port Mór and what they do for the community that enthusiastically supports them.

The most elegant solution involved the creation of a single storey wraparound extension to join all the individual components (changing facilities, meeting rooms, kitchen, toilets, entrance foyers, internal and external stores etc.) coherently.  This link softens the impact of the most significant volume, the enlarged sports hall. It establishes a building of more relatable form and massing.

The project had funding dictated completion dates, and therefore all application processes needed to run quickly and smoothly. In these scenarios, we dedicate time and energy to meet targets. With this project, consistent communication with the Planning Service regarding the critical timeline was critical. Planning approval was swift, and other applications (including Building Control, Statutory Authorities, etc.) ran concurrently with the Contractor appointment process.  

New signs and doors matching club colour and branding
Extension block to community building

Any sports facility requires careful thought and consideration in the design and specification. We invest time to make the right selection of finishes and details. A new, sprung sports floor, capable of covering an array of activities, was paramount and essential to the success of the building. These decisions were of utmost importance to ensure value for money while keeping future running costs to a minimum.

The subtle use of the Clubs colours for the doors ensures the Club feel ownership of the building. This translates to the internal finishing as well. Carpets, signs and decoration all clearly represent An Port Mór. The entrance is clearly defined, and with the refurbishment of the retained changing facilities, the building now provides much needed modern facilities for the local community and further afield.

The facility holds numerous community programmes and events in the new space while the refurbished changing facilities improve the sporting experience for the Club.

Specification and finishes to match club brand and colours
Sports | Community
Project Architect & Lead Consultant
Blackwatertown, Armagh
O'Neill's GFC An Port Mór
570 m²

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