Henrietta Street

Protected structure: competition entry for an extension Henrietta Street, Dublin
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Glazed street façades are hidden behind a perforated cast iron façade. The pattern of the perforations derived from the floral motif of a coalhole cover found on the pavement. The curtain on all three façades is a response to the brick skin stretched on the facades of the neighbouring houses punctured by the regular grid of windows. The gentle repetitive pattern of the façade seeks to provide ornament and abstraction.

The upper façades hang from a reinforced concrete superstructure of three vertical elements: a lift core and two massive rectangular columns. These elements are located on the gable end to Henrietta Place, with the floor slabs cantilevered to the gable of No.15.

The upper levels rest on a granite plinth, a curtsy to the King’s Inns at the opposite end of the street. The granite extends at the rear to enclose a walled garden. The quality of the material of the granite resolves the street facades to the Henrietta Place and facing the fine Henrietta House flats.

It is proposed that the new building be integrated into the neighbouring house, thus re-establishing the plot of No.15. Although the layout was altered dramatically in 1828 (the original entrance hall was on the site of No.16) the centrally located stairs remains. It is practical that this stair combined with the new lift serve both new and existing buildings. This allows Access for All principles to be integrated into the overall strategy of the building.

Dublin City Council currently leases No.15 to Na Píobairí Uilleann on a 99-year lease. The integration of the new building with No.15 allows for an expansion of the facilities of the Uilleann Pipers Club. Uilleann piping is an important part of Irish musical heritage and the expansion of the facilities for its promotion is an excellent use of the new building. The new facilities could be fitted out to provide for performance and exhibition spaces, practice rooms, recording studios or administrative offices.

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