Monday 15 April 2013

National Gallery of Ireland


National Gallery of Ireland, the Millennium Wing, Dublin.

I love this building and visited it every single day we were in Dublin. It is the new wing of the National Gallery of Ireland which was opened in 2002 and was designed by Benson and Forsyth. Unlike the previous two extensions it has street frontage. It has an imposing stone facade and a grand atrium and the interior concrete walls are unsealed. It is a very dramatic building.

The interior has many large spaces including a massive entrance hallway, a winter-garden containing the main dining area and two floors of galleries. An 18th century ballroom to the rear of the building was retained and the winter-garden was built around it. This makes the ballroom look like a doll's house.

The immediate impact on entering through the small entrance is the sheer size of the massive entrance hall with its soaring walls dwarfing the large staircase at its end.

Openings are gouged into chalky walls

Perspective is exaggerated by slanting planes

An enigmatic bridge slashes diagonally across the void

Surfaces are pale and passive, in shades of white
The effect is surreal, dreamlike.
The entrance to one of the galleries 
The lift
Fissures and gaps are to be found everywhere.
The entrance to the restaurant

the self-service area of the restaurant - fissures, gaps, everywhere
Looking through the apertures to the restaurant.


It's like a modern sculpture, a modern painting, a bit like a Mondrian. It is poetry.

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