Launched in 2014, The Irish Construction Industry Awards recognises and rewards companies and their teams who strive for excellence within the sector. The winners of this year’s awards will be revealed at the sixth annual Irish Construction Industry Awards on Thursday, June 13th, Citywest Hotel, Dublin.
This event offers an exceptional opportunity to showcase a business at its best on a large stage and to receive national press coverage for their work. It also offers an unmissable opportunity to celebrate the industry’s achievements with your team and network with its most distinguished figures.
The category of Conservation Project of the Year sees five projects nominated and for this month’s edition of Building Ireland, we take a look at one of the nominees, Kevin Street Library. The library, which closed in 2013, was officially reopened in 2018 following the completion of a €3.9 million modernisation and refurbishment, which has created a spacious library, a bright children’s library (featuring a slide), a new exhibition space and improved accessibility for those visiting. Memories of times gone by swirled around Kevin Street Library in Dublin 8 when it was officially reopened after being closed the lengthy closure while undergoing the long-needed renovations. Dublin City Council architects co-ordinated the redesign for 21st-century use but the project protected many original features including the Victorian weather vane, exterior brick work, fireplaces and interior wood panelling.
The facility will now act as a hub of educational, cultural, information and civic engagement within the southeast area of the city and further afield. Dubliners have been using this library since it first opened in 1904 and with this beautiful restoration and modernisation we can be sure that future generations will have the benefit of this facility for many years to come. The main contractors on the project were Clancy Construction and Contracts Manager Ian Smillie and Site Manager Con Thomas spoke to us about the work involved. The architects co-ordinated the conservation and restoration project, which included the preservation of Victorian roof glazing, window openers, cupola and weather vane, exterior brick work, fireplaces and interior wood panelling. The refurbishment works also involved the provision of a new lift shaft and access ramp, accessible WCs, as well as works to upgrade the building for fire safety and environmental performance. The work carried out by Clancy’s principally involved in the entire re-roofing of the building, including specialist repairs to the exiting roof timbers and clerestory glazing.
The restoration of the brickwork and sandstone features and crests were carried out by Oldstone Conservation Ltd. Casey O’Rourke Associates were the design team leaders for roofing project, working with City Architects Division.
“It was a dilapidated building when we went in, but our main issue was the fact that so much of the building had to be kept the way it was. We had to protect the façade and ensure the building was fully water tight,” stated Ian.
“The salvaged slates were re-instated on the front apex roof and complimentary blue Bangor slates were used on the rear lantern roofs. The original ladder framed clerestory windows were carefully stripped back and restored including the original winding mechanisms,” added Con.
The library was originally constructed in 1904 to the designs of city architect C. J. McCarthy and featured a delicate weathervane perched upon its cupola. Its design showed the influence of many of the Carnegie Libraries being constructed at the time in Ireland and the UK. 2014 saw Kevin Street Library reunited with its cupola.
City Architects have been carrying out work on this hidden gem in the city to bring it back to its former glory. The Cupola was removed in 2012 as part of the libraries refurbishment, having suffered for many years from corrosion. Ian stressed that the end product was the result of a team effort that included many specialised companies all playing their part in the project.
“This was a complex project in so many ways, but we got there in the end. The likes of Quigley Preservation, WRL, Bath Reglazing, Redmond Electrical and many more played a huge role.”
Con stressed that the whole process took a lot of time. “It was quite a slow process as is the case with most restoration work. The complete project took four years during which Clancy spent almost 2 years on site. Health and safety was a massive issue given the delicate work that had to be carried out.”
Ian felt that being nominated for the Conservation Project of the Year was just reward for everyone’s effort during the term of the job.
“Like I said, the success of this project was based on the collective work of a lot of people and working as a team, you can see how it turned out so well in the end.” Clancy Construction have a wealth of experience in the industry which dates back to the late 1940s when the business was first established.
Working hand in hand with the client is a key part of our strategy to ensure that we fully understand the objectives of the project and their concerns around particular aspects.
“Once we fully understand the project we resource it with the most appropriately experienced Project Manager and team to ensure that it is executed with the minimum of fuss and in accordance with agreed timelines and budget.”
Tel: 052 91 52166
Fax: 052 91 52280
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Eircode E41 H398
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, August, Vol 5 No 8