The hidden history of one of Dublin’s most influential and ground-breaking Victorian buildings has been revealed in a new multidisciplinary project at Trinity College Dublin.
The Trinity Museum Building landed on campus in the 1850s, in a predominantly Georgian city, like a “buffalo among a herd of elephants” according to architectural history professor Christine Casey, and went on to influence monumental buildings across Dublin, Ireland and internationally.
The building was innovative in both its architectural style and its use of materials, pioneering what was seen as the “patriotic use” of Irish marble and decorative stone. It helped establish a new quarrying industry at a time of economic depression and created a taste for Connemara marble and Cork red limestone which spread across Ireland to Britain, the United States and even as far as Cape Town in South Africa.
Unlike Georgian buildings, the museum channelled the Byzantine architecture of Venice and northern Italy and combined it with Romanesque and Irish influences to create a new architectural style, Prof Casey said.
The Making Victorian Dublin project’s interactive 3-D scan of the building, with details of its construction, influences, and craftsmen is at makingvictoriandublin.com.