5th May 1961: J.V. Luce, who had been a driving force in the quest to build a new library for Trinity, wrote to Paul Koralek to tell him he had been awarded first prize. Here we have Paul rereading a copy of that letter in October 2017:
One of the great parts of Koralek’s design for the Berkeley is the podium before the building and vast area that lies beneath. The Library has been described as “like a photocopier with the bottom drawer pulled out” – you can see what that means if you look at the plans below, which include the subterranean part:
On 13 October we were privileged to welcome the Berkeley’s architect Paul Koralek to speak to a sell-out crowd in the Edmund Burke Theatre, to discuss the Berkeley Library with John Tuomey and other guests.
Luckily, we captured it all for posterity (with decent sound too, thanks to our expert cameraman) – so let’s allow all our guests to speak for themselves. Enjoy!
This week, we were privileged to welcome the architect himself, Paul Koralek, back to Dublin and Trinity.
The first of his official engagements was to open a new exhibition detailing the design and construction of the Berkeley at the Irish Architectural Archive, curated by Donal Hickey.
Trinity was in the happy situation of moving up 10 places in the QS World University Rankings for 2018, to 88th in the world. That now makes Trinity not only the highest-placed Irish university in the QS rankings, but also the only Irish university placed in the Top 100.
However, if Irish academic institutions move down the worldwide rankings, an idea that is occasionally mooted is the “merger” of Trinity College Dublin (the sole constituent of the University of Dublin), and our friends/rivals University College Dublin (the National University of Ireland, Dublin), into a super university capable of taking on emerging Asian institutions as well as the old guard in the UK, Europe and the States.
One of the interesting points about the Berkeley is that many elements were almost artisanal in their construction, being undertaken by what today would be seen as small family firms of craftsmen, such as our friends in the Ardee Chair Factory.
A full list of these firms was included in the launch brochure published in 1967:
The Iveagh Hall – the main place of interaction between Library staff and our readers on a daily basis – features in very few of our period photographs.
It’s named after the Iveaghs (they of the lovely Iveagh Gardens off Earlsfort Terrace) – that is, the Guinness family. Yes, *that* Guinness family. Continue reading “#17 My Goodness, My Guinness”
Last time we took a quick look at some of the changes that accompanied the refurbishment of the Berkeley’s lower floors in 2002. Here we continue with more of the dramatic changes in the foyer. Continue reading “#14 Let There Be Light”
On 11 April 2003, the Ussher Library (technically, the James Ussher Library & Glucksman Conservation Department) was opened by the then President, Mary McAleese. Like the Berkeley, it had been the subject of an international competition, launched in 1997. Construction had begun in 1999.
Students sat at the chrome-and-leatherette desks in the Berkeley may be interested to know that these are original features, built at the Ardee Chair Factory in 1967 and then assembled on site, as the library began operations.
Last week we were delighted to welcome two of the craftsmen responsible for the construction and installation of the desks.Continue reading “#12 Meet the Chair-men”