Funding announced for The Old Library restoration at Trinity College Dublin
The Old Library, Dublin, Ireland by Heneghan Peng
The Irish Government has recently announced funding of €25m for the restoration of one of Ireland’s foremost national heritage sites, the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin. The library is home to the magnificent Long Room and precious manuscripts, including the ninth century Book of Kells. The announcement follows Dublin City Council’s planning permission for the Old Library Redevelopment Project last autumn, and the unveiling of the new Book of Kells Treasury and display, which form the first phase of the transformation. Heneghan Peng, who also conserved and revitalised the Gallery of Ireland, are leading the project’s world-class design team.
The Old Library currently houses 350,000 early printed books, together with 20,000 manuscript and archive materials collected over the course of 400 years. Environmental controls and fire protection measures will be improved, while conserving the character of the protected structure. The design also places an emphasis on creating new facilities, including a state-of-the art study centre for both national and international scholars. Located in the colonnaded ground floor, the centre will overlook Library Square, one of the original courtyards at Trinity College. In parallel, a Virtual Trinity Library is also planned, which will provide digital access to the library collections across the world.
Overall, the project supports and enhances both public access and academic scholarship. The current visitor entrance in the Old Library will be moved to a more welcoming entrance and exit, with the retail facility relocated alongside visitor amenities and space for rotating exhibitions.
Heneghan Peng principal, Róisín Heneghan, stated: “Buildings that last, like the Old Library, are those that allow changing lives to find a place within. The Old library has undergone transformations as the University has changed. The project highlights the Old Library’s position between the different characters of Library Square and Fellows’ Square, making strategic interventions to allow the Old Library to continue to be a space of knowledge and study for the 21st century student while welcoming visitors to share its stories.”
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This tender was first published by Tenderstream on 14.12.2011 here