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The Berkeley Library, designed by Paul Koralek, opened in 1967 and is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s finest modern buildings. In 2017, the Library of Trinity College Dublin hosted a series of events to celebrate the first fifty years of the building and consider how it might continue to inspire and delight in the future.

“In commissioning this brutalist gem in the 1960s, the elders of Trinity College displayed remarkable bravery and vision… Dublin’s oldest university produces the best Irish modernism.”
Wallpaper* city guide: Dublin.

“…an inspired building, subtle in its relationship to the existing buildings and squares, plastic in detail and magnificent in its internal lighting effects.”
Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin.

A key part of the year of events was a special project to document the lead up to the construction of the Berkeley Library and the first fifty years of its life, bringing together old and new images, and highlighting key events and details.

“My pulse always races a little faster when I come here… I have very particular ideas growing up [in the 1960s] of what the future ought to look like… it ought to look like that [points at image of the Berkeley]! Clean lines, modernism, slightly dramatic, beautiful…”

Roly Keating, Chief Executive, British Library discussing the Berkeley Library at the Library Futures Symposium 2016.


We are featuring fifty posts to tell the story of the Berkeley Library. Each post will feature at least one image – often more.

Main image: Architectural Press Archive/RIBA Collections.

#50: That’s No Moon

Something fun, for our last post. Afficiados of a certain science-fiction series have oft remarked on the resemblance of the Berkeley’s Sfera con Sfera to a half-built Death Star. Images: Estelle Gittins

#49 Lux Æterna

As we wrapped up 2017 and Berkeley50, the last event was a week of projections on to the iconic north face of the Berkeley, using images and video to tell the story of the Berkeley and how it came to be, but also featuring some of the events we’d hosted during the year.  I think …