Michelmersh is proud to see its products predominantly featured throughout the design of The International Rugby Experience, Limerick, where it sits on the edge of a conservation area within Limerick’s Georgian Quarter. The International Rugby Experience has quickly become one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland since opening its doors in 2022. The Experience’s verticality was crucial to the project’s success, where capacity was integral to it. The height of the building also provides impressive views over the city with its crowning public hall. The state-of-the-art facility is a must-visit for rugby fans from around the world, with the target of welcoming 100,000 visitors annually. Described specifically as an “experience” and not a museum, guests will be told a story of rugby through five values: Discipline, Solidarity, Respect, Passion and Integrity.
The International Rugby Experience was designed by a team from Niall McLaughlin Architects who have extensive practice in creating experiential public facilities. The facility’s sleek design and impressive brickwork detailing is not only visually stunning but also functional, providing visitors with an immersive experience in the world of rugby. Repeating vertical brick fins cleverly catch the light on their leading edges, and equally cast contrasting shadows in the spaces between, whilst a series of slender brick pillars, internally tapered into narrow edges to reduce their size, offering extremely clever and subtle brick details to produce impactful spatial experiences. Niall McLaughlin Architects made extensive use of legacy Charnwood bricks to give the facility a classic look, which complements the traditional feel of the sport. The blend of over 300,000 Charnwood bricks used in the construction of the International Rugby Experience was carefully selected for their quality and durability, ensuring that the facility will stand the test of time. The clay products were specially selected to fit within the existing vernacular, allowing the project to surreptitiously fit within the area.
As a seven -storey building built with bricks inside and out, we knew the brick selection and blend would be critical to ensuring the new building settled into the historic context of Limerick’s Georgian Quarter whilst also celebrating its contemporary design. Following an engaging and informative visit to Charnwood Brick Works, we felt confident that our chosen blend of three red bricks would be just right. With the International Rugby Experience recently completed, all are very happy with the building but it’s certainly the quality of the brickwork that gets most plaudits.Tom McGlynn, Associate at Niall McLaughlin Architects
The International Rugby Experience is open seven days a week and is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in rugby, sports, or history. With its impressive architecture, high-quality bricks, and immersive displays, it’s no wonder that the facility has quickly become one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions and no doubt win further architectural awards and acclaim in the future.
Photography by Nick Kane.