Keeping Irish architecture alive
Madam, – A public notice was published in your paper by Dublin City Council on January 21st (page 29), which many of your readers may have missed, inviting submissions or observations in regard to the proposed addition to the record of protected structures of St Luke’s Hospital, Rathgar, Dublin 6. (Submissions or observations should be sent in writing to “The Conservation Office, Planning Development Department, Block 3, Floor 3, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.”)
St Luke’s Hospital, which first opened its doors to the public in October 1952, was designed by the Irish architect Thomas Kennedy.
He was awarded the Triennial Gold Medal for the period 1950-52 by the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland for his design of St Luke’s Hospital. The Triennial Gold Medal is the premier award for architecture in Ireland. It is designed to promote buildings of exceptional merit.
He was described by Eoghan D Buckley, who was president of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland from 1952-53, as one of the most gifted architects of his generation. Thomas Kennedy was president of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland from 1958 to 1959.
He was one of the proponents of the international style of architecture. His inspiration for St Luke’s may have come from Ceric Mendelsohn’s House in Berlin “Am Rupenhorn” which was an early international style design built in 1929-30.
St Luke’s Hospital is an example of what could be called post-Independence architecture, that is, buildings built by talented Irish architects since the foundation of the Irish State, which are part of our cultural heritage of 20th-century architecture, and which should be preserved for future generations.