Student Learning Leisure and Sports Facility (SLLS) – University College Dublin

GEM Construction and Joinery made a major contribution to an award-winning project at University College Dublin.


Student Learning Leisure and Sports Facility (SLLS) - UCD


Fitzgearld Kavanagh & Partners


PJ Walls


Joinery, Educational

UCD’s World-Beating New Student Facility

Providing 11,000 square metres of sports, academic and leisure facilities, this important new building lies at the heart of student life at UCD. It was designed by Dublin architects Fitzgerald Kavanagh and Partners, and its success has influenced the design of student facilities across the world. Its features include a gym and a 50 metre Olympic-standard swimming pool, a debating chamber, a theatre, a spa, and much more.

Ground-Breaking Design, Sustainable Materials

  • With a focus on sustainability, local materials and the latest technology are integral to the centre’s design.
  • GEM designed and supplied joinery for the debating chamber, pool area, main reception area and theatre.
  • Class O Iroko was used for the debating chamber walls and ceiling, and for acoustically slotted wall panels in the theatre.
  • The Fitness and Sports Area desks were completed in Corian and black granite.
  • Juncker’s solid wood flooring was installed in studios one and two, and in the debating chamber.
  • Structural Steel was used for the debating chamber walls.

Popular with Students and Public

The new building has quickly established itself at the heart of student life at UCD. Its appeal to the wider community is demonstrated by its selection as the winner of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Irish Architecture Public Choice Award for 2013, as voted for by members of the public. In its citation, the RIAI described the centre as "an exciting building which embraces many of the guiding principles of universal design”.


  • Fit-out Project Leisure - Fit-out Awards 2013
  • Interior Architectural Project of the Year - Irish Building & Design Awards 2013
  • Public Choice Award - Irish Architecture Awards 2013
  • Winner Best Universal Design - Irish Architecture Awards 2013
  • Sustainability Award - EcoWAN 2012
  • Built Environment & Architectural Heritage 2013 Gold Award Winner for UK Educational Establishments - International Green Apple Award-Sustainability
  • Irish Architecture Awards 2013 - Winner of the Public Choice Award - Winner of Best Universal Design