Abbey Creative Quarter, Kilkenny
The former Smithwick’s Brewery is located on the banks of the River Nore, in the centre of Kilkenny City. The 300 year old Brewery was closed by Diageo in 2013. The masterplan site comprises an area of 8.25 hectares (20.4 acres) and lies at the heart of the medieval core of Kilkenny City. Kilkenny County Council’s aspiration was to create an urban design and architectural framework providing a new urban mixed use quarter in a socially inclusive and sustainable manner.
Reddy A+U was commissioned in August 2013 to undertake the urban design and master planning of the site following a design competition. The team developed a masterplan which was to have a healthy mix of uses including educational, employment, residential, enterprise development, recreational and community uses. One issue was that the site would take a number of years to fully develop and there was a requirement to have suitable short to medium term uses on site while development proposals are evolving over time. Sustainable transport with safe and direct routes for pedestrians and cyclists was a strong aspiration.
The design draws from the unique natural, cultural and built heritage of the area and adds to that context with a strong architectural presence while safeguarding the visual and varied environmental quality aimed at enhancing quality of life.
Following on from the successful Masterplan, Reddy A+U have been commissioned to develop the Brewhouse Building. The project redevelops and extends the old building into a new 6,500 sq m (21,325 sq ft) facility.
The Brewhouse Building represents the single largest structure to be retained and reused in the Abbey Creative Quarter Site. The Brewhouse is a unique structure in terms of its industrial heritage and modernist qualities within the city of Kilkenny. Its retention, refurbishment and reuse represents the best principles of sustainable development and also forms a key link in the story of the architectural and social history of the city.