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The design of the building in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, was the response to the ambition to reconnect the town and harbour by means of a new public place anchored by a civic landmark, and secondly to provide a multi-media library and cultural hub for the whole community.

The €29.5m, 6.327sq.m. building, which incorporates a central library with extensive educational and outreach, municipal gallery and studio theatre, was officially opened in April this year.

Since opening the Lexicon has become firmly embedded in the life of the county, with record visitor numbers exceeding 10,000 per week and significant increase in new membership.

The innovative design of the building lends itself to the extended role of the library as the hub for a wide range of community, educational and cultural events. Learning in the broadest sense of the word underpins the concept of this civic institution. It was significant that the Council chose to make a library and cultural centre the first public building built in the town for over 100 years.

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One of the lead architects on the project and co-founder of CCN Architects Louise Cotter stated: “Our challenge was to deliver this public space in a way that would make new routes and visual connections between the town and harbour. We are so thrilled that the vision of transforming the heart of Dun Laoghaire town has been recognised in this way and it is testimony to the vision of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, and in particular the library service.”