1906 – Design for Royal College of Science, Dublin

Architect: Aston Webb



Original design for the construction of a Royal College of Science & Government Office on Merrion Street in Dublin. Although the building was constructed, and still stands today, the design constructed was modified from the published version.

As built, the building is finished in Portland Stone, whereas the illustration show a typical Edwardian finish of brick and stone. The entrance to the building is more imposing, absent is the colonnade screen and in its place an entrance block to Merrion Street. Published in The Building News, October 12, 1906. The building is now known as Government Buildings.

“The illustration, which is reproduced from the large drawing exhibited in this year’s Royal Academy, shows the interior of the quadrangle, and the front towards Merrion-street, of the combined College of Science and Government Offices now being erected in Dublin from the designs of Sir Aston Webb and Mr. T. M. Deane: at least, one half of it is being erected, as shown and stated bn the plan. It was a happy idea to blend the two departments into one architectural scheme, thereby securing a finer and more imposing building than either of them could have been if treated separately. In our issue of October 13, a fortnight hence, we shall be able to illustrate the drawing of the cupola and portico towards the quadrangle, on a larger scale, which was also exhibited at the Royal Academy.” The Builder, September 29 1906.

“We now give the drawing showing the cupola, and the portico towards the quadrangle, of this important building, the plan and general views of which were published in our issue of September 29. Sir Aston Webb, R.A. and Mr. T.M. Deane, A.R.H.A., are the joint architects (appointed by the Commissioners of Public Works), and the was exhibited at this year’s Royal Academy.

Owing to an accident in the postal delivery, Sir Aston Webb’s description of the work, which should have appeared with the former illustration, reached us too late for that issue. As this is a detail of the same building, the description may suitably be published now, referring our readers back to the plan as given on September 29.

These buildings are being erected on a fine site in Merrion-street, adjoining Leinster Lawn, the National Museum and Library. The new buildings will have a frontage of about 350 ft. towards Merrion-street, and a depth of 280 ft. The portion at present being erected occupies the rear of the site, and is to accommodate the Royal College of Science, now located in St. Stephen’s Green.

The centre is occupied by the principal entrance, the main staircase, a large lecture theatre, with library over, and students’ commonrooms, one of which is under the dome. The lower ground fioor is occupied by applied physics, including electrical engineering laboratories, and the ground floor by chemistry, including a general laboratory, 75 ft. by 60 ft., and 30 ft. high. On the first floor are placed the botany, geology, mineralogy, and mathematics departments. The whole of the second floor is occupied by agriculture, and its various branches, including chemistry, bacteriology, botany, economics, veterinary, hygiene, and photography. all in connexion with agriculture.

The front, portion of the site it is proposed to occupy later with Government offices, a sketch study of which is illustrated.

A contract for the foundations and the lower ground floor has been let to Messrs. H. & J. Martin, contractors, of Belfast Mr. J. Laurie is acting as clerk of the works.” The Builder, October 13 1906.