The Identification and Reuse of Traditional 17th & 18th-Century Urban Buildings

One-Day Symposium

Dublin Civic Trust, 18 Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 7

Friday 6th December 2019

PLACES BOOKED OUT - waiting list now in operation to



This one-day symposium organised by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, aims to involve more people and communities in recognition and preservation of early urban buildings, in our historic cities and towns, raise levels of awareness, and seek innovative and creative schemes for contemporary living. It makes good sense as well as an efficient use of resources to consolidate our urban areas and to reuse historic building stock to create vital contemporary homes.

The Creative Ireland Programme through its Creative Communities pillar aims to support and facilitate initiatives that assist communities and citizens to better understand their built environment and help promote a sense of place. By actively engaging public, private and civic multi-stakeholders, of the cities and towns, historic and contemporary, can be better conserved and enjoyed. And most of all lived in.


Extract of perspective of College Green, Dublin, early 1700s, showing gable-fronted houses

Extract of perspective of College Green, Dublin, early 1700s, showing gable-fronted houses


Venue: Dublin Civic Trust, 18 Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 7
Registration: From 8.45am - tea/coffee and baked refreshments on arrival

9.20 am
Welcome from Niall Ó’Donnchú, Assist. Sec. Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht

RIAI Publications, David Browne, President of the RIAI

Session 1 – Reuse

9.30 am - Chair: Grainne Shaffrey, President ICOMOS Irl., RIAI Urban Design Committee, Shaffrey Architects

  • Understanding the cultural layering of historic cities and towns - Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht/Urban Architectural Surveys –Jean Farrelly, Architectural Survey Ireland
  • Approximate Formality - towns as spatial containers for successful urban life - Valerie Mulvin, McCullough Mulvin Architects.
  • ‘Wherever possible we aim to restore buildings so that the upper storeys can be lived in, for it is men and not walls that make a City and there is a need to encourage people to live within the City walls’ – Vanessa R. M. Butler, Director and Trustee of York Conservation Trust
  • Experience gained in looking closely and quietly at things – even at a small level – can help to make ordinary, real and beautiful things - Niall McCullough, McCullough Mulvin Architects

11.30 am Discussion / Coffee Break


Session 2 – Understanding

11.45 am - Chair: John Wickham, Senior Adviser - Building Standards, Built Environment Advisory Unit, Housing Planning & Local Government.

  • Creating Places for People; RIAI Town Toolkit – Philip Jackson Urban Design Committee, RIAI
  • Examining a seventeenth century urban block: Sources and origins as basis for understanding early building fabric – Neil Crimmins, Cathal Crimmins Architects
  • Early building identification and the ‘Dutch Billy’ tradition – Graham Hickey, Peter Keenahan, Peter Walsh, Dublin Civic Trust
  • A Heritage – led urban regeneration vision for Cathedral Place, Waterford - Rose Ryall ACO Waterford County Council with Bill Walsh Falconer Architects

13.00 pm Discussion / Lunch Break


Session 3 – Remaking

14.00 pm - Chair: Mary McDonald, Architectural Conservation Officer Dublin City Council.

  • Creative Communities and the Creative Ireland Programme - John Knightly, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
  • C17th construction - characteristics of structural carpentry and joinery and other period building elements – Freddie O’Dwyer, Conservation Architect and Historian
  • Structural intervention in 130 Thomas Street – David Avril, Sheehan Barry Architects.
  • The Significance of brick in C17th buildings – Susan Roundtree, Conservation Architect
  • Research into the brick façade of Fade’s Mansion Thomas Street -    Sara Pavia, School of Eng.,TCD 
  • Revealing early urban buildings in Bandon, Fethard - Michael O’Boyle, Bluett O’Donoughue Architects

15.30 pm - Break


Session 4 – Practice and Policy

16.00 pm - Chair: Colm Murray, Architectural Officer, The Heritage Council

  • Windows, doors and linings their detail and characteristics in the C17th – Nessa Roche, Dept. of Culture Heritage & the Gaeltacht.
  • Reassembly & Renewal at 10 Mill Street – John Beattie, Dublin City Council AACO/Archaeologist
  • Mansion House Adaptation – Lenzie O’ Sullivan, Dublin City Council, Senior Conservation Architect
  • Urban Kinsukori

Closing remarks on an archaeological/built heritage policy approach to urban regeneration - Michael MacDonagh, Chief State Archaeologist, Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht



9/9A Aungier Street

Film Screening 

No. 9/9A Aungier Street is part of the urban survey on early buildings that have come to light in the early estates that developed in Dublin city. The Dept. CHG assisted with part/matching funding under the Government Policy on Architecture with the making of a film on 9/9A Aungier Street (a C17th building with monument and protected structure status). The movie was a collaboration by the Architectural practice MESH, who worked on the project and the film maker, John Corcoran, who was interested in the subject matter – the finished movie was shown during Heritage week 2016/2017and Open House 2016.

It is a documentary on the rescue of a very early C17th urban building, the archaeological and built heritage significance of the building, the conservation process , the grant assistance, the responsibility etc. – the Dept. assisted greatly over a number of years with grant schemes to save this building working in partnership with the Local Authority Conservation team.

A film project undertaken by Mesh Architects, produced by John Corcoran/Curved Street Films and part funded Dept. Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht.

With permission, we have the pleasure of showing this film at 13.00 pm as part of the early building symposium 2019.               

Early roof structure, 9-9A Aungier Street

Early roof structure, 9-9A Aungier Street