Text description provided by the architects. The project takes on five contiguous Protected Structures in central Dublin and converts them as the offices, library and gallery of the Dublin Dental Hospital. The five buildings in a terrace, three Georgian and two Victorian ones, have many of the problems associated with buildings of their age; they will be upgraded to modern standards of fire safety, insulation and accessibility by very careful work on the fabric, using all means (voids, fireplaces, floor voids) to address deficiencies without damaging older materials, spaces or finishes.
Older finishes, opes, doors and windows are all retained where possible. A series of new lightwells are dropped through the fabric to bring light to the lower levels, forming niches and spaces around an expanded modern central corridor intervention used for the display of the Hospitals collection of art; the spaces literally work as a gallery as well as a circulation space. The rooftop is transformed by the addition of dramatic new ‘pods’ overlooking Trinity College containing a library and art display spaces.
Overall, the work to conserve existing fabric and to sustainably add coherent and appropriate modern work to it is complex but results in architecture which gains by the juxtaposition . The work was being carried out under the terms of the new Government form of Contract.