Calm Zone

Interior of Old Bar and newly refurbished Calm Zone


Project Description

This project involved the conversion of the Old UCC College bar into a new purpose-built calm zone.  The Calm Zone (An Ceantar Ciúin) has been designed using universal design and autism-friendly principles and has been featured as an example of autism-friendly design in the prestigious 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. The project is part of the Autism Friendly University Initiative

UCC’s Old Bar was a space that held many fond memories for former students, and the bar closed in 2018, after 30 years at the heart of the student community.   Now the Calm Zone will sit at the heart of a UCC initiative to promote inclusion and to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.

The Calm Zone which comprises of circa 320m2 is laid out across two levels, and every facet of the space including acoustics and accessibility has been considered to maximise autism-friendliness and designed to global design guidelines for built environments to be used by individuals with autism.  The first-floor open plan area includes flexible seating; sensory and respite rooms, with the ground floor including a universally designed student kitchen, universal access toilets and lift as well as a locker room. These spaces will also be used to facilitate workshops that promote student wellbeing.

The final configuration of the space was the result of consultation with both students and staff, including universal design and accessibility experts, and the project team. 

The Calm Zone was funded by the UCC Student Charges and Fees Forum and a donation from the Lauritzon Group.

Start Date Oct. 2019 Completion Date  Mar. 2020
Status Completed

Project Team


UCC Tim Cronin Capital Projects Officer 
  Finbarr Wall Deputy Capital Projects Officer
  David Burke Project Manager
Design Team  Architect Butler Cammoranesi
  Civil Structural RPS
  Mech & Elect RPS
  Quantity Surveyor AECOM
  PSDP ASM Group
Contractor Vision Contracting Ltd.

For more information please contact Tim Cronin, Capital Projects Officer @ 

Buildings and Estates Office

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