Store Street Dublin 1
Architect Michael Scott – 1945-1953
This was my first real trip to Dublin, having previously hastily passed through, over eager to take myself elsewhere. To accompany me I purchased The Dublin Architecture Guide 1937-2021 from Books Upstairs. It proved to be an indispensable companion on my walks around the city.
To begin at the end, the last building I explored was the Busáras – the central bus station, for intercity and regional bus services operated by Bus Éireann.
Áras Mhic Dhiarmada – Mac Diarmada House is the official name of the building, which also includes the headquarters of the Department of Social Protection.
CIÉ – parent of Bus Éireann, leases the lower floors from the department.
Áras Mhic Dhiarmada is named after Seán Mac Diarmada, a leader of the Easter Rising in 1916.
The building has an L-shaped plan with two rectilinear blocks of differing heights sitting at right angles, with a circular hall at the ground floor designed in an International Modern style, influenced strongly by Le Corbusier. The British engineer Ove Arup was commissioned to oversee some of the elements of the design, such as the wavy concrete canopy which overhangs the concourse. It was designed to be a multi-functional building, with a restaurant, nightclub, cinema and other services all housed within it. The building incorporated a number of materials to create texture, such as brass, Danish bronze, copper, Portland stone cladding, Irish oak flooring, terrazzo stairways, and mosaics designed by Patrick Scott.
It was one of the first modern buildings in Dublin that attempted to integrate art and architecture, utilising elements like glass facades and a pavilionised top storey with a reinforced concrete flat roof, the building won the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Triennial Gold medal in 1955. It was heralded as Europe’s first postwar office building by American and British journals.
The Eblana Theatre, originally intended as a newsreel venue, in the basement of the building was used as a theatre venue from 1959 to 1995. The building was featured on the highest value stamp issued in the Architecture definitive postage stamp set issued in 1982 by the P&T – the forerunner of An Post.
Renovation took place in 2007.
Let’s take a wander around the site – I was immediately captivated by the wavy concrete canopy and it’s terrazzo companion.
There is additional mosaic work beneath the roof top canopies and columns.
The building is a fine amalgam of volumes, materials and detailing.
Let’s have a look at the concourse.
Don’t forget to take a look downstairs.
Time to go – I have an aeroplane to catch.