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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Former tenement house will take visitors on 300-year tour of Dublin life

The building in Dublin’s north inner city has won two architectural awards.

14 The house's front door Source: 14 Henrietta Street

THE CONSERVATION OF a former tenement house in Dublin city has been named Best Conservation/Restoration Project and Best Overall Project at RIAI Irish Architecture Awards.

The building, located at 14 Henrietta Street in Dublin’s north inner city, will officially open to the public in September.

The house’s interior will showcase what life was like in the area over a 300-year period – from a grand townhouse of the 1750s to a tenement building from the 1880s to the 1970s, which, in 1911, was home to 100 people from 17 families.

The conservation work at the Dublin City Council-owned building was carried out over a 10-year period, led by Shaffrey Architects. The building was in a derelict state before the work began.

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland 2018 awards jury said of the project: “Peeling back the layers of history, the restoration and refurbishment of 14 Henrietta Street is an architectural storybook.

“Revealing the lives of those who have lived there through the years has resulted in an inspirational and engaging museum building.”

‘A gift to Dublin’

The jury praised the “skill”, “craft” and “innovative conservation” applied by the architectural team.

It noted that “contemporary necessities” had been incorporated into the building in a “respectful and exciting” way, describing it as “a gift to the city of Dublin”.

NO._14_HENRIETTA_STREET_PUBLICITY_SHAFFREY_ARCHITECTS__PAUL_TIERNEY_ENTRANCE_STAIRHALL_COMPARTMENT 14 Henrietta Street Source: Paul Tierney/RIAI

Charles Duggan, Heritage Officer with Dublin City Council, oversaw the work that has been carried out on the house since 2007.

He said the awards highlight “the importance of the research-led approach to design and conservation that we adopted from the outset, and most importantly it celebrates the valued support of the house’s community of former residents, who shared with us their memories and insights, enriching our understanding of this deeply special place”.

Architect Gráinne Shaffrey added: “This unique project is primarily about telling the story of a remarkable building in a remarkable street which has much wider resonance and meaning.”

14 Henrietta Street will officially open in September 2018, but advance tours are available on Fridays and Saturdays in July and August, with an opportunity for the visitors to discuss their memories, stories and reflections. Tickets (€9 adult/€6 concession) for the 90-minute tour can be booked in advance here.

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Órla Ryan

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