Tory Top Library 09


Tory Top Library 08

New Shelving

Tory Top Library 07

Spacious Interior

Tory Top Library 06

Natural Ventilation

Tory Top Library 05

Modern Interior

Tory Top Library 03

Split level interior

Tory Top Library 02

Work Stations

Tory Top Library 01


Tory Top Library 04

Natural Lighting



Tory Top Library is a single-storey purpose-built library very much set in nature; its flexible and modern interior providing spaces for different user groups. Entrance to the library is on Tory Top Rd, next to a mature cherry tree and the library also fronts onto Lower Friars Rd.

From the entrance, the building opens up to the east adult area and west childrens area; different areas are articulated by small changes in levels following the contours of the site.

The library wraps around an enclosed garden on the south; adult area on one side, space for reference , study and quiet activities on another, staff areas on the third. The wall closing off the garden offers views southward to the hills beyond Cork.

The building is heated using a geo-thermal system with pipes taking water from 30 metres underground. There is maximum natural light and natural ventilation of the space and the building was designed to the CIBSE 1997 guide to natural ventilation principles.


Tory Top Library was selected for the longlist of the Public Library Building Awards, UK and the Republic of Ireland, 2007.

The Building

The Building

Type of library

Medium sized town library


695 m2




Tom O'Donnell

Building contractor


The Space

The Space

Features and services

Special services

Baby changing facilities, Exhibition/display areas

External features


Internal features


Energy efficiency


Accessibility provision

Access to building, Access within building, Assistive technology, Parking, Signage / guiding

Interior designer


Furniture suppliers

Choice Office Interiors, Demco Interiors

Services and facilities suppliers


IT provision

Internet access, Public access terminals, Number of public computer terminals: 17

Seats/study places