A three-year conservation project showing the potential to “live in store” on Liffey’s docks in Dublin won the Grand European Heritage Prize.
The Dublin Civic Trust won the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Prize 2021 for its restoration of 18 Ormond Quay Upper, a 19th-century commercial building, with three residential floors above a store.
The award, which celebrates and promotes important heritage achievements across Europe, was last won by Ireland in the conservation category in 2005, when the Public Works Office took the award for its restoration of the great Victorian palm complex in the National Botanic Gardens.
The Europa Nostra jury praised the “meticulous research” undertaken by the Civic Trust to ensure a restoration and restoration consistent with the building’s original values. “The project has been implemented to be a model for others specifically, which shows that heritage from Dublin’s communal buildings has value and contributes to a more sustainable development of the city.”
The property was built on 18 Ormond Quay in 1843 as a grocery store with attorney rooms and residence above. It features a rare vaulted granite storefront, believed to precede the 1840’s reconstruction, possibly from the 1880s when these storefronts were popularized by the Wade Streets Commission, the Georgian Dublin planning body.
His restoration, overseen by Kelly and Cogan maintenance engineers and the Nolans Group’s historic building contractors, included significant structural stability to the side gable wall that had a dangerous side street slope. About 130 square meters of 1970s cement-based gravel has been removed from brickwork, and the traditional Irish “wigging”, a form of lime traditionally used in Dublin to hide rough brickwork, is based on one surviving sample discovered Behind a street sign. The chimneys, which were carved out in the 1980s, have also been rebuilt to their original height.
“We have conducted extensive research to reconstruct shop windows and missing doors using documentary sources including The Illustrated Dublin Guide by Henry Shaw, 1850,” said Graham Hickey, Director of Preservation of Trust. “We re-designed window glass based on the type of glass that was accessible to everyone in the early 1840’s.”
The award, Geraldine Walsh said, was a “sonorous endorsement” of the value of the Dublin Old Buildings Fund. The upper residential floors show how these buildings were originally designed for the living. Room layouts, elegant proportions, and river views show how these spaces can be used today with minimal interference with the original texture. Historical backgrounds give a flavor of how these rooms were once presented, but of course they can take on a modern new look as well. They are flexible spaces by nature. “
The bulk of the work, which cost 650,000 euros, was funded by the fund with additional support from Dublin City Council and the Heritage and Donations Board.
While the project demonstrates the possibility of living in the residential city, the building may be kept for display or for museum purposes, Mr. Hickey said. “In the end, we feel that the building has such a prominent position in the city that permanent public use or display is the desired outcome, especially since the closure of the ESB Georgian Home Museum.”