When OCSC designed the National Gallery of Ireland in 2000 the scheme allowed for the demolition of all buildings on the site with the exception of an existing 2 storey building known as “The Ballroom” and No. 5 South Leinster Street which is the completion of the National Gallery Millennium Wing. The listed No. 5 South Leinster Street and ballroom have been preserved, refurbished and incorporated into the complete Gallery to act as offices and private meeting rooms for the National Gallery.
OCSC carefully studied the existing structure of No. 5 South Leinster Street, peeled back the modern additions and devised an internal temporary support structure. This allowed the heavy external shores to be removed and the Millennium Wing to be attached adjacent to the retained building.
Some years later in 2005, with Arthur Gibney Architects, OCSC were retained by the Office of Public Works to complete the refurbishment of the building and give it a new lease of life. Cautious intervention allowed the preservation of existing fabric and systems were devised to enhance the strength of the existing rather than adding new where possible, this included stitching existing walls.
Our cautious investigation while protecting the delicate fabric of the complex series of buildings at No. 5 South Leinster Street allowed us to fully understand the existing structure and then devise suitable protection and enhancement works. The building is now an important part of the overall gallery facilities and the contrast between the refurbished section of historic fabric adds to the modern expression in the award winning Millennium Wing which won the European Concrete prize on completion.