Dun Laoghaire’s landmark dlr LexIcon building has opened its doors to the public. This new public building is a bold new addition to Dún Laoghaire and is the result of an RIAI international competition held in 2007.
Contemporary libraries now have an extended role within the local community, with the requirements of educational and cultural events shaping the design of the building and spaces within. dlr LexIcon exemplifies this new approach to library design and offers a mix of intimate and expansive public rooms, places to congregate, or to sit quietly with a book and enjoy the view.
Set over four floors, the LexIcon houses separate reading rooms, a children’s library, a 100-seater performance space, the county’s first municipal gallery, a cafe, a local history section with study spaces, as well as staff facilities and a managed public car park with 100 spaces.
Moran Park has also been extensively landscaped and redeveloped as part of the LexIcon works. A new water feature is an integral element of the park, and the gardens will host events, exhibits, film screenings, markets and performances. The works have created an accessible open space in the heart of Dún Laoghaire that will be available to all of the community.
Technology is at the forefront in dlr LexIcon, which features a self service book sorter for 24 hour book return and multi-print devices for public use onsite, on the go or from home, along with workstations designed to utilise mobile technology and facilitate collaborative working.
County Librarian Mairead Owens said, “The LexIcon embraces the modern concept of what a library should be – a key community space where all are welcome. When people walk through the door I hope they get a sence of ‘wow’, it’s a stunning public space and quite extraordinary. The LexIcon will be a key component in the delivery of the cultural programme in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown. It will be a vibrant centre of learning and creative for all those who live, work in and visit the County.”
To celebrate the launch of the dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council commissioned an anthology of new writing Taking the Plunge. The book showcases new and established local writing talent. Edited by Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin of Writing.ie, it is a stunning blend of fiction, non-fiction and poetry features new work from Denise Deegan, Martina Devlin, Angela Finn, Mark Granier, Lucinda Jacob, Dave Kenny, Iggy McGovern, Lia Mills, Ciara O’Dowd, Sinéad O’Loughlin, Michelle Read and Sarah Webb.
From the struggles of youth to the challenges of ageing, from the ins and outs of relationships to the return of the spectre of emigration, Taking the Plunge touches on every aspect of modern life. Using the sea as a recurring theme, this collection perfectly captures Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and the impression it leaves on locals and visitors alike, celebrating the very essence of a vibrant community.
Taking the Plunge is available in bookshops or pick up your copy online here.