Part of the RIAI Network

Silver Conservation Medal Winner

  • City Hall, Dublin
  • Architect:
    Paul Arnold with Dublin City Architects Dept.
  • Award Year: 1999-2001
  • Location: Dublin
City Hall, Dublin


The building was designed by Thomas Cooley in 1768 as the Royal Exchange.  It was significantly modified by Dublin Corporation when acquired in the 1850s.

The aims of the present stage in the building’s evolution were to realise the building’s potential as a major cultural and tourist amenity, to enhance the buildings pre-eminence as a building of civic, historic and architectural significance while retaining its central function as the working parliamentary building for the City Council.

The achievement of these aims led to the removal of the later interventions and restoring the building to its original state. Major structural and re-instatement works were executed including the restoration of the east and west staircases and the liberation of the vaults at lower ground floor. Stone cleaning and repairs were carried out both internally and externally and the dome was completely refurbished.

The project was undertaken by the Conservation Architect in a joint venture partnership with Dublin Corporation City Architects. This partnership has worked extremely well as shown by the quality of the design, the technical solutions and the obvious care and understanding in executing the works. Its conservation has been undertaken with great judgement and skill.

The principal concept has been achieved. Standing in the Main Rotunda one is aware of being in a major Civic Space. The exhibition area in the vaults below provides a compelling experience in a space which enhances the sense of history of the city with the well designed exhibit. City Hall is restored as significant addition to Dublin.  The reaction of the public has been very positive, while providing a fitting location of style and grandeur appropriate for the City Council.