I’m delighted to see that the Dublin Civic Trust, one of the most important of our conservation agencies here, have started a new blog on WP. And very good and beautiful it is too, as one would expect. Here is one of their first pieces, a short, highly readable post about the design history when Bank of Ireland purchased then converted Edward Lovett Pearce’s iconic Parliament buildings in the early 1800s. Well worth a look, not least for the gorgeous architects drawing of that period, made for the competition entries.
Following the Act of Union of 1800, a major architectural competition for the redesign of the former Parliament House on College Green was announced by Bank of Ireland in August 1802. Over forty design proposals from leading architects in Ireland and overseas were submitted. In spite of Henry Aaron Baker being the eventual winner, the bank decided that no one design quite met the needs of the institution. Ireland’s then leading architect, Francis Johnston, was subsequently comissioned by the bank to blend the spirit of the favoured proposals into a cohesive, singular design.
His eventual design ingeniously facilitated the requirements of the bank while respecting the integrity of Edward Lovett Pearce’s masterpiece, then almost a century old. The building as presented today is the fruit of his efforts, with few changes made to Pearce’s design beyond some modified windows and minimal additional statuary on the central portico.
Johnston masterfully harmonised…
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