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Irish architecture: Collins Barracks

There is ever a connection between interior and exterior. So I’ll periodically publish something about Irish (and Italian…) buildings. Let’s start with Collins Barracks, 18th Century.

Collins Barracks: a Public Building

Apart from the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the barracks is the earliest public building in Dublin, and was built from 1701 by Thomas de Burgh, the same architect of the famous library building at Trinity College.

The complex has several large squares, each open on the south side. The largest square (Clarke’s Square) has arcaded colonnades on the east and west sides, and the main buildings are faced with granite.

This building is very representative of new “Neo-Classical style”, Georgian Neo-Classical style to be more precise.

As a reaction against the naturalistic ornament of the Rococo style, Neo-Classical is a style principally derived from the architecture of Classical Greece and Rome and the architecture of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. It is characterized by symmetry, pitched roofs, pediments, square pilasters, doric or ionic columns, dentil moulding, long graceful windows. Brick construction is recurring.

Regular, Symmetrical, Tipical

Collins Barracks’ facade is regular and symmetrical, it has a central pavilion with a triangular pediment; a clock takes place in the middle of the pediment.

The roof is pitched, with equidistant chimneys. Volumes are clear and well defined. The entrance is a archway right in the middle of the pavilion, and there are arches and pilasters running all over the building. The windows are symmetrical, often with nine or twelve panes and similar to the ones in Henrietta Street, very tipical of this architectural style.

About Maria Grazia Mati

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