Architectural Photography of the Hugh Lane Gallery extension and restoration, Dublin Ireland


Gilroy Macmahon architects

Hugh Lane Gallery extension and restoration photography of the interiors and exteriors

One of Dublin’s popular cultural institutes, the Hugh Lane Gallery on Parnell Square has undergone a recent renaissance. Gilroy McMahon, together with Gallery Director Barbara Dawson, City Architect Jim Barrett and Exhibition Curator Christina Kennedy, commenced a process of think-tank in order to redefine what precisely makes a good gallery experience. There are obvious contradictions. To compete for public attention, a gallery visit has to be enjoyable and social; browsing in the bookshop, hanging out in the café. On the other hand, engaging with a painting is a profoundly spiritual experience. Someone said that a contemporary museum was part temple part supermarket.

The think-tank produced a couple of new ideas upon which the design was predicated. The first was a conclusion that the three most important elements in gallery design are circulation, circulation and yes circulation; not quite the normal suspects. It appeared as imperative to have a central and legible sequential circulation route off which there would be choices; i.e. an inner sequential route with outer selective ones. There would be a beginning, an outward journey and a return to the beginning in the form of a loop. Retracing ones steps along a single outward path does not work. It reduces the vividness of the experience to something desultory.

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Winner of the Interior Design 2007  Public Space Award

Awarded RIAI Irish Architecture award

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Collin construction

The Hugh Lane Gallery is one of Dublin’s major art galleries. Housed in a converted Georgian town house, the Client required a major extension to the side and rear to house its expanding collection of Modern Art. The existing building is a Protected Structure, as are the adjoining 4-storey Georgian terraces. Construction of the 3-storey over basement extension was in reinforced concrete with blockwork infill panels to the rear with a steel framed connection to the existing gallery

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Project in brief
This mid-eighteenth century building, designed by Sir William Chambers for Lord Charlemont, occupies a prominent position on Parnell Square and houses the Municipal Gallery for Modern Art. This designated Protected Structure also includes two conjoined Georgian buildings at the end of an adjacent terrace, formerly the National Ballroom. The main building, Charlemont House, is a three storey structure over basement comprising external and internal loadbearing masonry walls with an ashlar façade, slated timber double-pitched roof, timber upper floors with ornate terrazzo on a vaulted brick ground floor, and both timber and stone staircases.

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