Coláiste Feirste is located off the Falls Road at Beechmount House, Beechmount in West Belfast in what was previously a convent and old peoples home. The school is the only Irish Medium secondary school in Belfast. The school moved into the current buildings in 1998 following the growth of the school in the period it was located in An Cultúrlann on the Falls Road. It’s current location puts it in the heart of the Belfast Irish Language community and within the new Gaeltacht Quarter.
We proposed the school should have a logical divide between the existing ‘top site’ and the former leisure centre ‘bottom site’ into which the school was expanding. Functions on the top site focus on academic functions whilst the bottom site, previously a leisure centre, accommodates the school’s sporting facilities including GAA pitches, Spectator areas and MUGA courts. The differences in levels between the top and bottom site, together with existing fencing and retention of separate vehicular accesses to the top and bottom sites reinforce this division.
The main classroom block extensions are located to the rear of the existing buildings, connected to the ‘historic school’ building and designed to integrate with varied internal story levels.