Re: Re: National Gallery Extension

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There’s a few threads this topic could have gone into, but here seems the most apt. Indeed what an excellent thread this was in its day – I’ve just spent 20 minutes scrolling through enjoying the many sharp observations. It’s a level of debate that’s relatively unusual here; it seems they come crawling out of the woodwork for the big ones 😉

Well this is just a note to say ‘the National Gallery House’ as it’s generally become known has finally been unwrapped after years of apparent scrabbling for funds and various delays. Arthur Gibney & Partners, who were appointed as architects to the project years ago now, have pulled off the conservation job with trademark panache.

The building is to serve as the new administrative HQ of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Thankfully Gibneys know better than to get sucked into this current trend for returning Victorian sheet sashes to original Georgian specification (though of course merited in the right circumstances). In this case all Victorian additions, as cumbersome as some may be, have been respectfully preserved. Indeed it’s so much more interesting to observe the panels on the internal shutters revealing all in conforming to the original Georgian glazing pattern, than a batch of repro windows pretending to be something they’re not. Thus the fabric has been retained, and the pernickity conservationist/scholar can rest assured on provenance, basking in the warm glow of smug self-assuredness 😉

The brickwork has also been cleaned and tuck pointed.

(The reflection is the scaffolding of Trinity’s buildings across the road).

The grandiose chimneys beautifully are re-rendered and the stucco repainted (sneaky cable running under the frieze there ;))

These robust railings are great – decorous yet elegant.

It would appear some of the granite has been redressed. What’s going on with this corner I’m not sure. You’d expect it to be the original Georgian plinth for a large railing corner piece, but there’s no holes…

The only thing I’m iffy about is the doorcase. It seems to be of reconstituted stone, as at Parnell Square west. At the very least it’s machine cut and polished.

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