St. Mary's Medieval Mile Museum

St. Mary’s Church in Kilkenny has been converted into the Medieval Mile Museum. The building is the starting point of the ‘Medieval Mile’ trail and houses the city’s Civic Treasures and displays many important carved limestone tombs and funerary monuments from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The project combines sensitive restoration and contemporary design to an exemplary standard. The medieval building, originally constructed in the 13th Century, required some extension for the display of artefacts in a controlled environment and the project became an experiment in the use of archaeology to help define an architectural solution.

The new elements are made of timber and lead, lead’s soft malleability a foil to Irish grey stone and sky. The project worked with the nature of the building, providing a new stone floor, repairing materials, leaving exposed a large section of the original medieval timber roof which acts as a focus in the plan. The chancel had historically been reduced in size and the nave originally had aisles. Archaeological excavations revealed the presence of extant foundations under the earth. New structures were placed on these, amplifying the spatial complexity of the building and developing a sequence of internal spaces.

  • Address: 2 St Mary’s Lane, High Street, Kilkenny
  • Client: Kilkenny County Council
  • GPS: 52.651886, -7.252140
  • Civil & Structural Engineers: O'Connor Sutton Cronin
  • M&E Engineers: McArdle McSweeney
  • Quantity Surveyors: Brendan Merry & Partners
  • Conservation Consultants: Carrig Conservation
  • Contractors: Duggan Brothers Contractors Ltd
  • Awards: 
    • 2019 Architecture MasterPrize - Winner - Heritage Architecture
    • 2019 Mies van der Rohe Awards - Shortlisted
    • 2018 The Plan Awards (Italy) - Finalist
    • 2018 RIAI Awards - Highly Commended - Best Culture/Public Building
    • 2018 Irish Construction Industry Awards - Conservation Project of the Year
    • 2018 Irish Construction Excellence Awards - Silver Award for Heritage Building/Conservation or Restoration
    • 2018 DOMUS International Prize for Restoration and Preservation - Honourable Mention
    • 2018 AAI Awards - Special Mention
    • 2017 Building & Architect of the Year Awards - Conservation Award - Winner

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