Tuesday 14 May 2019

New Central Library and cultural quarter for Dublin

The development of a new cultural quarter has been approved for Dublin's Parnell Square, the oldest of the capital's Georgian squares, previously known as Rutland Square.

The re-imagined Parnell Square North and new plaza
Costing €100 million, the scheme involves the relocation of the city's Central Library, the creation of a south-facing plaza, and the restoration of one of Dublin's finest terraces of Georgian houses.

The new complex will be linked to the houses on either side of the existing Hugh Lane Gallery, but will be hidden from plaza level view. At the back of the terrace, the new Central Library building – three times larger than its existing home on the third floor of the Ilac shopping centre – will feature a dramatic great hall (see below). It is scheduled, perhaps rather optimistically, to open in 2023.

Other new-build and refurbishment elements of the project will see the creation of a 200-seat conference centre, a music centre, education facilities, a cafe and exhibition space.

In the immediate vicinity of the square is an existing cluster of cultural venues, including the Irish Writer's Centre, Dublin Writers' Museum, the Gate Theatre, Poetry Ireland and the Garden of Remembrance. 

Dublin City Council will fund €45 million of the new quarter's development, with the balance being sought from philanthropic donations.

For more details and images of the planned development, see http://www.parnellsquare.ie.

Design of the new Dublin Central Library, Parnell Square.

UPDATE: 25 July 2019. See DCC's 'most disappointing and unwelcome' news