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Medieval Museum in Waterford / Waterford City Council Architects

  • 01:00 - 20 March, 2014
Medieval Museum in Waterford / Waterford City Council Architects
Medieval Museum in Waterford / Waterford City Council Architects, © Philip Lauterbach
© Philip Lauterbach

© Philip Lauterbach © Philip Lauterbach © Philip Lauterbach © Philip Lauterbach + 13

  • Structural, Civil Engineer & PSDP

    Frank Fox & Associates Consultant Engineers
  • Project Manager

    Malone O'Regan Consultant Engineers
  • Quantity Surveyors

    Nolan Construction Consultants
  • Fire Consultants

  • MEP Engineers

  • Archaeology

    Orla Scully and Archer Heritage
  • Sculptor

    Stephen Burke
  • Main Contractor

    Tom O’Brien Construction Ltd
  • Facade Stonework Contractor

    S McConnell & Sons
  • Graphics

    Bartosz Rojowski (ROJO-Studio) & WCC
  • Main contract value - museum & facilities building

  • More Specs Less Specs
© Philip Lauterbach
© Philip Lauterbach

Text description provided by the architects. Waterford Medieval Museum is a new architectural landmark and major visitor destination in the Southeast of Ireland. The Museum is located in the urban quarter, the oldest part of Waterford City and at its vibrant cultural heart, known as The Viking Triangle. It houses a magnificent collection of artifacts and hosts numerous public events.

A diverse range of medieval, 18th, 19th and 20th century buildings constrain the site boundaries to a U-shape with the open end facing directly onto eastern façade of Christ Church Cathedral.

The objective was to design a building that would strengthen the characteristic of the historic tissue while, at the same time, creating something new and contrasting with the existing architecture.

© Philip Lauterbach
© Philip Lauterbach

The front façade is designed in a semi-circular, streamlined form, which is 'wrapped around' the back of the Neo Classical Cathedral, creating a link between the two beautiful squares on each side. The warm Dundry facing stone follows from its use in the original medieval Cathedral and Choristers’ Hall and provides a break from the cool crisp 18th century surrounding structures. The curved façade is like a big jigsaw - no two stones are the same, each one is unique and individual. More than a façade of a building, it is a large-scale architectural sculpture. There is an emphasis on the two gables, both visible from surrounding squares. A six metre high figure - ‘The Waterford Lady’ sculpted on west gable is based on a tiny 13th century belt mount found during the archaeological excavations on site.

© Philip Lauterbach
© Philip Lauterbach

At the approach to main entrance, glass vision panels provide views to the carefully conserved Choristers’ Hall below. The entire width of recessed glazing that slides apart allows interior of the ground floor to be open onto Cathedral Square and the border between the inside and outside disappears.

Diagram Floor Plan 1
Diagram Floor Plan 1

One of the design challenges was to incorporate the medieval structure of Choristers’ Hall located below ground level into the new building. Internal layout was strongly influenced by the shape of the site and adjoining buildings. There are four levels to the building: two levels over ground floor consisting of exhibition galleries and audio visual theatres, the lower ground floor level is a multifunctional space and provides direct access to the Choristers' Hall. The ground floor incorporates the entrance lobby, museum shop and reception.

© Philip Lauterbach
© Philip Lauterbach

The structure is designed entirely as cast in situ concrete. Material palette was restricted to concrete, Irish pippy oak, heather Welsh slate and the mentioned Dundry stone for the facade.

Site Plan Diagram
Site Plan Diagram

In 2014, the Museum has received LAMA Awards for the Best Public Building and The Best Heritage Project categories as well as the International Civic Trust 2014 Award .

© Philip Lauterbach
© Philip Lauterbach

The success of this design is due to the collaboration of people from diverse backgrounds: architects, artists, historians, engineers and craftsmen. This amalgamation of different disciplines within the design team, allowed achieving this unique result. The building was designed in house by Waterford City Council Architects, Rupert Maddock, Bartosz Rojowski and Agnieszka Rojowska. Agnieszka and Bartosz are now working independently as the newly formed ROJO-Studio Architects. (

Diagram Floor Plan 0
Diagram Floor Plan 0

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Cite: "Medieval Museum in Waterford / Waterford City Council Architects" 20 Mar 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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