17-01-2003

McCullough Mulvin-Kmd Architecture, Ussher Library, Dublin, 1999-2002

Libraries, Pavilions, Sport & Wellness,

Stone, Glass,

Founded in 1592 by decree of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Trinity College is Dublin's most prestigious university, whose graduates include Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift.



McCullough Mulvin-Kmd Architecture, Ussher Library, Dublin, 1999-2002 The Ussher Library interior is arranged with the utmost rationality, with a vertical service area at opposite ends of each floor.

The reading rooms have glass walls which make it possible to see into the interior space around the skylight in the base and offer beautiful views over the green expanses surrounding the complex.
The wings reserved for the book storage area and reading rooms overlook a large empty space running the full height of the atrium and terminating in a skylight.
The top two floors contain individual reading stations arranged in a linear area which is empty in the centre and finished in black walnut.

The windows are screened with stainless steel mesh; fire exits and other service doors are covered with striped rubber which creates vertical motifs.
The western pavilion containing the restoration and preservation workshops has a serrated ceiling consisting of a cut and folded plate and offers picturesque views of the outside.

The number of materials used in Ussher is limited: greenish glass, bare cement for the columns and ceilings, walnut to cover the walls in public areas and for the reading tables, and bright red carpeting covering almost all the floors.

In this project the architects have combined their interest in contemporary Dublin with creation of abstract effect using planes and volumes; the library building sets up a dialogue with surrounding buildings dating from the 'seventies in the subtle equilibrium of the university campus.

Floriana De Rosa

Link: http://www.mcculloughmulvin.com/pages/tcl_menu.html

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