Yup newgrange – Christine Casey does a good explanation of the layout. Apparently it was formerly the Ballroom, and is almost perfectly intact from the 1780s, as is the ground floor Tea Room and to a large extent the large Supper Room – now the principal auditorium at first floor level. Only the small Supper Room it seems has vanished.
The more I think about this proposal, the better it gets: the Central Library really couldn’t be any more ideal for this site and this part of the city. It’s going to act as an enormous draw to this neglected part of town, and is the lifeline it has needed for decades. Nothing else would have the pulling-power that's needed during the day
The Ambassador / former Assembly Rooms complex is a fascinating collection of buildings, and has intrigued me and no doubt most people for years. For some reason it’s the one building that always stood out for me coming into Dublin as a child (along with the bizarre copper mansard roof of the Nursing building in the middle of the Square!) – the theatre being a strange mix of classical design and modern interventions. I could never quite make out when it was built, or what it was used for. It was always quite sinister and foreboding: the curious round shape, the muddled projections, the creepily blank facades and inward-looking character, the grim grey stucco, the weird 1950’s lighting suggesting a long-forgotten former use...
The potential – not just for this building, but its wider environs too – is simply enormous, and cannot be underestimated. It’s a delightfully picturesque, rambling part of the city that is ideal for a strong pedestrian focus and leisure use, offering a refreshing contrast to the formality of the grid plan of the O’Connell Street area.
The sweeping curving arcade to Cavendish Row and expansive paving has great potential for cafÃ© use, with tables spilling out from the arches or just elegant floor-to-ceiling Georgian windows. What a unique feature in the city.
Interesting remnant of sturdy 1950’s municipal furniture here.
Perhaps with manicured potted plants in the niches.
Always loved these 1950’s lamps! – it’d be a shame to see them go really.
Similarly regarding the other picturesque side – perhaps more suitable given it’s even more secluded here, with bucket loads of space for dining.
The Rotunda’s colonnade is in a dismal condition at the minute: it’s used as a keg store.
Castle’s elegant colonnade could be the making of this scheme – it’s one of the prettiest pieces of architecture in the city, sweeping round with a charming little slated roof, contrasting perfectly with the great circular hulk looming above it.
It’s the ideal link between the Library scheme and the soon-to be-rejuvenated Rotunda forecourt. As part of the Parnell Square Framework Plan, it is proposed that the hospital spend in the region of €600,000 in removing car parking, landscaping the forecourt, and carrying out other improvement works. No timeframe is given unfortunately – it seems the car parking is dependent on the development of underground facilities to the rear, which are a long-term goal.