St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare

  • Client: St. Patrick's College, Maynooth
  • Architect: Moloney O’Beirne/Richard Hurley Architects
  • Completion date: 1987 – ongoing (2010)
  • PUNCH services: Renovation & Structural Repair
  • Awards: St. Mary's Oratory - The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Award 2000

An engagement with the engineering solution of the past was vital for the success of this project.  PUNCH Conservation were alive to the inadequacy of the original design, but, appreciative of its character, intervened to enhance it structurally. Further, our understanding also meant that there was minimal intervention in the building, with the main remedial action occurring in the roof, rather than on every floor. The innovative solution PUNCH presented was to introduce steel bars into the truss. This honoured the design principle of the original truss while strengthening it.

The buildings in St Mary’s Square at Maynooth Seminary were designed before 1847 by A.W. Pugin in the Gothic Revival style he had pioneered for ecclesiastical architecture.  By the late 20th century the building was in need of repair, particularly the floors, which sagged throughout the building. This was caused by a defect in the design of the roof truss.

The elegance of the engineering intervention by PUNCH Conservation lies in the respect for the original designer’s structural concept and intent. The structural solution retained all the original timber truss members and dealt very effectively with the deficiencies of the original design.

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