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Caomhnú agus athchóiriú

Dublin City Council began a process to acquire the house in 2000 as a direct result of the Dublin City Heritage Plan 2002 – 2006 and the Henrietta Street conservation plan. The purchase of the house was completed in 2008 and following this they embarked on a 10-year long journey to rescue, stabilise and conserve the house, preserving it for generations to come. In 2018 14 Henrietta Street opened its doors to the public.

The restoration and conservation of the building was led and funded by Dublin City Council, with additional support from a Centenaries Capital Grant from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Conservation and restoration

Significant work was required to save the front façade, the roof and rafters, the brick on the rear elevation and sash windows, of which only six of 18th century origin remained.

Internally the condition of the house was poor, with major structural failure, poorly executed previous repairs and moisture ingress causing decay and localized growth of Dry Rot.

The back staircase was unsafe to use and the basement flight had lost all structural integrity, preventing access beyond ground floor level. Treads had worn away and all but 7 balusters had been entirely removed from the stairs. Floor joist ends were rotted in many places but particularly at ground floor level. The floor structure of the closet space (the small room at the end of the sequence of rooms) had been removed throughout which further affected the house’s structural stability.

Internal wall surfaces, predominantly of late 18th century, were largely intact, particularly in the back hall and stairs where Reckitt’s Blue and Raddle red, synonymous Dublin tenement paint colours, survived in the entrance hall, back hall and stairs.

Technically, the project was loaded with challenges, not least the rebuilding of the bottom section of the rear wall which was supporting the upper section of the house, the restrictive size of the site and its urban location which made access difficult.

Use of traditional crafts and skills

The 14 Henrietta Street conservation project employed expert craftspeople in the area of specialist stone repairs; wrought iron repairs; wallpaper conservation and reproduction; linoleum reproduction; specialist joinery repairs and new joinery; specialist historic paint and surface finishes; specialist decorative plasterwork (cleaning; repairs; restoration); lime plaster and render (including renewal and repair); and repairs to mid-to-late 20th century tiled fireplaces.

In addition to the traditional skills, expert craft skills are apparent in the bespoke concrete flooring; the solid wall brickwork of the new return and, the casting of new fireplace surrounds. It is a notable aspect of the works that practically all repairs and works have been done in-situ (the steel for the new stairs and the timber glazed extension are the only off-site constructed elements).

The conservation of 14 Henrietta Street has been recognised with a number of awards.

2024 - RIAI Silver Medal for Conservation and Restoration
Winner for Conservation and Restoration 2017-2019

2018 - RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2018
Winner Best Conservation / Restoration Project
Winner Best Overall Project

2019 - Mies van Der Rohes Award 2019
EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - shortlisted

2019 - Irish Georgian Society Architecture Conservation Awards 2019

With thanks to

Design Team
Shaffrey Architects: Tomás O’Connor, Project Architect; Eamonn Kehoe, Kevin McKevitt, Brian Rowe, Grainne Shaffrey
Barrett Mahony Consulting Engineer - Civil & Structural Engineers
Arup - Building Services Engineers
DL Martin - Quantity Surveyors
Maurice Johnson and Partners - Fire Safety and DAC
Rubicon Heritage - Archaeology
Liam Kennedy, Dublin City Council - Clerk of Works

GEM Construction Company Ltd. - Main Contractor
Main Sub-Contractors:
Oldstone Conservation Ltd.
Kiernan Painting Contractors
Keating & Doyle
Alfa Electrical
Gem Joinery
Bushy Park Ironworks
Smyth & Henderson Stuccodores Ltd.

Object Conservation and Advice Team 2017-2018
Sven Habermann, Letterfrack Conservation
Rachael Phelan, Textile Conservation
Liz D’Arcy, Paper Conservation
Maurice Ward Art Handling
Karen Wilson, Preventive Maintenance
Heather Flynn, Frames Direct
David Skinner Wallpapers
John Harte
Susan Mulhall Gilders
Richard Ireland

Earlier Phases of Work and Study for Henrietta Street

Henrietta Street Conservation Plan (Dublin City Council, 2006)
Commissioned as an action of the Dublin City Heritage Plan
Donncha O’Dulaing, Heritage Officer Dublin City Council
Grainne Shaffrey, Shaffrey Architects
Sharon Greene, Carrig Conservation International
Dr. Tracey Pickerill
Dr. John Montague
Boylan Farrelly QS
Lee McCullough & Partners Consulting Engineers

Emergency Stabilisation Works (Phase 1: 2008 - 2009)
Declan Wallace, Assistant Chief Executive, Dublin City Council
Charles Duggan, Heritage Officer, Dublin City Council; Project Manager
Grainne Shaffrey, Shaffrey Associates Architects; Lead Architect
Eamonn Kehoe, Shaffrey Associates Architects
Dr Lorcán O’Flannery, Lee McCullough Engineers; Structural Engineer
Susan Roundtree, City Architects Division, Dublin City Council
Patricia Wrafter, City Architects Division, Dublin City Council
Dunwoody Dobson, Main Contractor

Conservation and Reinstatement of Windows and Doors (Phase 2:2010 – 2011)
Declan Wallace, Assistant Chief Executive, Dublin City Council
Charles Duggan, Heritage Officer, Dublin City Council; Project Manager
Grainne Shaffrey, Shaffrey Architects
Eamonn Kehoe, Shaffrey Architects
Susan Roundtree, Senior Architect, Dublin City Council
Carl Raftery, Conservation Research Officer, Dublin City Council
Peter Clarke, Dublin Institute of Technology
National Joinery, Main Contractor

Funding Acknowledgements
14 Henrietta Street Museum (Phase 3):
Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht – Centenaries Capital Grant Programme
Emergency Stabilitation Works (Phase 1):
Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht - Civic Structures Grant Scheme
Windows and Doors Conservation (Phase 2):
Heritage Council: Conservation Plan Led Projects