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14 Henrietta Street recognised in European and Irish awards


Published 28 May 2018

14 Henrietta Street recognised in European and Irish awards

The conservation of a former tenement house at 14 Henrietta Street in Dublin’s north inner city has received a special mention at the prestigious Europa Nostra Awards for Cultural Heritage. 

A home to Dublin’s social history, 14 Henrietta Street will officially open to the public in September. It tells the story of tenement life in Dublin, and its origins, through the life-cycle of what was once a home to the elite of the city. Visiting the house opens a door to nearly 300 years of the city’s life, from a grand townhouse of the 1750s to a tenement building from the 1880s to the 1970s, which, in 1911, was home to 17 families.  

Conservation work at the Dublin City Council-owned building was carried out over a 10-year period. In its decision, the Europa Nostra judging panel said that it recognised and appreciated the action taken by Dublin City Council to “rehabilitate the historic fabric of the city, while acknowledging the multi-layered social history of the site”. Visitors will be able to see what impressed the judges when the building opens two days each week for advance tours from July. 

14 Henrietta Street(under the working title Tenement Museum Dublin) has also been shortlisted by the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI)in the Best Conservation / Restoration Category of its Irish Architecture Awards 2018 programme, recognising the work of Shaffrey Architects.

Commenting, assistant chief executive of Dublin City Council, Richard Shakespeare said: “When Dublin City Council undertook to save and renovate 14 Henrietta Street more than a decade ago it was in a derelict state. It is great to see what a fantastic job our heritage, architecture and conservation teams have done to ensure that both the building and this important steetscape has been saved, and that the story of 14 Henrietta Street is told in such an engaging manner.”

The museum is run by Dublin City Council Culture Company, an initiative of Dublin City Council. Interim Chief Executive, Iseult Byrne said: “To be recognised at the European Heritage Awards is a fantastic achievement for 14 Henrietta Street and the team who worked so hard to rescue it. We are also delighted to be shortlisted for the RIAI Irish Architecture Awards. It is timely that these mentions come now, as we prepare to open for public tours and we invite anyone with an interest in Dublin’s social and housing history or its architecture to come and visit this extraordinary house.” 

Heritage officer with Dublin City Council, Charles Duggan has overseen work to the house since 2007. He said: “The 10-year long journey to rescue, stabilise and ultimately conserve and adapt 14 Henrietta Street entailed not only the stabilisation of the house due to its serious structural condition, but the preservation and recovery of the fragile traces of human occupation embodied in the fabric and form of the house. The conservation of the house and the creation of the museum has been a truly collaborative project; our dedicated design team, led by Shaffrey Architects, GEM Construction, specialist conservationists, researchers, and curators have been guided by conversations with people who lived in tenement flats in this house and on the street. 

The project has been influenced from the outset by new academic research and by engagement with the community of former residents of the house’s 19 tenement flats, whose living heritage the museum seeks to gather, interpret and exhibit. Painstaking research into its architecture and social history has been complemented by the gathering of artefacts and oral histories of people who lived in this house and other tenement houses around the city.  

The result is a vital new facility where the house is the primary artefact and where the conservation measures and interventions have allowed its many contrasting histories to be transmitted simultaneously. We are absolutely delighted that this work has been acknowledged by the Europa Nostra judging panel and that it has been shortlisted for an RIAI award. We look forward to sharing it with Dubliners and tourists alike.”

While 14 Henrietta Street will officially open in September 2018, advance tours are available on Fridays and Saturdays from 6th July until 8th September, with an opportunity for the visitors to feed back their memories, stories and reflections. Tickets (€9 adult / €6 concession) for the 90-minute tour should be booked in advance, and will go on sale at www.14henriettastreet.ie from Friday, 1st June.