The former Blue Coats School, now headquarters of the Law Society of Ireland, at Blackhall Place, is one of the finest eighteenth-century buildings in Dublin. Over a twenty year period we have developed both a conservation plan and a masterplan to improve existing facilities, extend and add new layers to the historical place, for its ongoing ceremonial, educational and administrative use. The plans were completed in close consultation with the various departments and stakeholders who use the campus, to expand and improve facilities and revive historic character through good conservation while reversing some of the less satisfactory interventions of the past. Most of the projects implemented to date have been carried out as summer works within the academic year and annual budget limits.
The main projects completed to date include – enhancing ceremonial uses in the main historic building by upgrading the main entrance, principal corridors and the presidents hall through new lighting, decoration, floor and wall finishes. Works to the Green Hall were completed in three phases and include the creation of a new mezzanine floor for tutorial rooms, a new ‘loggia’ circulation space, extra teaching spaces and a mock court. The semi-basement carpark of the Education Centre was converted into large teaching spaces; the large foyer re-designed with a new café, gathering area and reception; and the main lecture room redesigned to improve the quality of space and seating. The Academic Street, creates a new civic spine linking the education facilities along the southern edge of the campus. It forms new entrances, seating and places to meet informally. A new sports pavilion and library project are planned as the next phases of the masterplan.
Over a twenty year period we have developed both a conservation plan and a masterplan to improve existing facilities, extend and add new layers to the historical place, for its ongoing ceremonial, educational and administrative use