The new Military Archives in Dublin is a very particular 2016 project.The Irish Army has a fascinating and extensive archive built up over the years since the foundation of the State; it includes Army records, depositions concerning the War of Independence, maps and films-
The new building is located in Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines very close to the last house that Michael Collins occupied in Dublin before he went to his death in West Cork. It is made up of two sections- one old and one new- representing at once the tradition and the progressive nature of the Army- and a good example of radical re-use of existing buildings for new uses. The old section is one half of an old stone and brick hospital block dating from the early years of the barracks;this has been turned this on its end and a new entrance opened in the gable leading to a new public library and reading room lined out in timber; the rest is made up of offices and a Conservation laboratory. The new section matches the old in some of its character, extending the architecture of gables, but is made of brick- there is a dramatic folded courtyard between the two. The new building, partially recessed in the ground, comprises two large archive rooms with computer controlled rolling racking at both levels, built to the highest international standards of Archive storage.
If you would like to get a closer look at this building, we will be running tours in association with Irish Architecture Foundation for Open House Dublin. A number of our other projects including Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, HIdden Garden, Blackrock Further Education Institute and the Abbey Theatre will be opening their doors to the public while the Irish Architecture Foundation will be screening 3 short films by McCullough Mulvin Architects in their newly designed HQ. Further details can be found here on the Open House Website.