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Thursday24 July 2014

First Look: 16 Henrietta Street, Dublin by Ryan W Kennihan Architects

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Ryan W Kennihan Architects has revealed images of plans for the end of the historic Henrietta street in Dublin, filling in the “missing tooth” left by the demolition of one half of a four-bay Georgian house in the 1950s.

The result of an international competition, the scheme proposes to construct an open and flexible brick structure to contain a series of pipe-making workshops for Na Píobairí Uilleann, the association of Irish bagpipers located in the adjacent property. The project also proposes a small theatre to the mews for the performance of Irish music.

The building is designed to appear as if it has always been there, aiming to appeal to the fundaments of the context, rather than the formal characteristics of neighbouring buildings. Its thick brick fin walls act as a buttress to the visual mass of the rest of the block, forming a powerful and expressive end to the terrace, while referencing a Sullivanesque extension at the opposite end of the block.

Each floor is completely open-plan, spanned by a robust structure of brick vaults. To the Henrietta Street side, the project proposes to rebuild the complete facade of the original house to reinstate the streetscape, but in a way that is suggestive of the evolution of the site through the use of blind brick windows — a common practice in Georgian buildings used for turning corners and completing symmetries.

The €3 million project is scheduled to start on site in 2013.

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Readers' comments (9)

  • Fantastic model. Inspiring!

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  • Munter Roe

    Gd to see a bit of building work happening in the South.

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  • beautiful

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  • beautiful

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  • Munter Roe

    I find the blind brick windows make me uneasy.

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  • Fantastic scheme!

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  • Blind windows were used by the Georgians to turn corners, never to make a full width frontage. The Georgians were masters of detailing that worked at an urban scale. This project feels a bit over-worked to me and busy in comparison to the Georgian streetscapes it draws on.

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  • The blind windows would have been on the alleyway, surely? This looks like someone trying to be clever

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  • I might have been hasty, there are some imaginative aspects to this project and it's refreshing to see a practice thinking urbanistically at a concrete scale. I suppose it's easy to be critical when we see something that surprises us. I'm still not sure about the blind facade, it's rather absolute. It's relationship to the adjacent Georgian building feels a little heavy handed. The frontage is very similar to the existing, almost a copy, but at the same time very, very different. And then the side elevation is something completely different again, almost alien to the front. I find there are too many gaps. But again, my reason for questions is intrigue.

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