Sonas Women’s Refuge Centre

Award-winning sheltered accommodation


Sonas Womens Refuge Centre


Cathal Crimmins Architects


Sonas Housing Association


Construction, Public & Community

A two-storey building by the Grand Canal in Blanchardstown, Dublin, which was refurbished and refigured to provide sheltered accommodation for victims of domestic abuse, was commended in the Opus Architecture and Construction Awards

A Safe Space

The Sonas Housing Association, which is dedicated to assisting the survivors of domestic abuse, is Dublin’s largest provider of support services to women and children. Cathal Crimmins Architects designed their new refuge at Cluainin Cronan in Clondalkin, which extends to 1,200 square metres, with the intention that it should provide a sense of security and calm.

A Complete Refurbishment

To provide a temporary accommodation facility in which each family unit could find safety and a space in which to remake their lives, the building underwent a complete transfiguration. GEM construction undertook a range of works:

  • Stripping out existing finishes and services
  • Reconfiguring existing walls
  • New floor, wall and ceiling finishes throughout
  • Internal plastering
  • Remedial works to existing roof including re-slating and strengthening works
  • Decoration throughout
  • New mechanical and electrical installations
  • New lift installation
  • New utility connections
  • Drainage works
  • Upgrade of the external yards and the entrance area

Innovative Private Spaces

In most women’s refuges, eating and relaxing must take place in communal areas. This building is unusual and innovative in that each family has its own living space, producing a village-like atmosphere where people can meet and socialise when they wish, but also spend time in private.


Opus Architecture & Construction Awards 2005 - Commended