TOBIN was responsible for the Civil & Structural Engineering, M&E and Assigned Certifier roles on this project. The completion of the Aran Sweater Market project in July 2018 marked an important social, cultural and economic development for the famous Medieval Quarter of Galway city.
This significantly important project is the result of an extensive conservation effort to design a culturally-sensitive outlet for GlenAran from a derelict property cluster located at the bottom of Quay Street – one of the most prominent pedestrianised areas in Galway and indeed Ireland. This structural cluster in question consists of 5 different original properties; number 25 Quay Street (a late medieval house) and numbers 2 to 5 on Quay Lane (originally an 18th century 4-story warehouse that was later reduced in height and converted into cottages in the mid‐19th century). This ruinous cluster had been derelict for some twenty years and was an eyesore at this important focal point in Galway City which looks onto the world-famous Spanish Arch and Claddagh. These buildings are protected structures (Protected Structures RPS No’s 8001-8005) and lie within the medieval core of Galway city which is an Architectural Conservation Area (ACA).
To add an extra layer of intrigue, and admittedly complexity, to our heritage and conservation challenges, walled sections of Galway’s earliest stone castle were discovered as works were commencing on site in August 2017. This castle, built in 1232, is the oldest stone building in Galway city and shaped the development of the medieval port and indeed the city as we know it today – some 800 years later. The castle was built by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family and predated the later 13th century town walls – also unearthed at this site. At the time of the castle’s construction, the river estuary was far wider and the de Burgo castle overlooked a shingly shore bordering the Atlantic – evidence of which has also been located on this project.