M E S H    A R C H I T E C T S

Grade 1 Conservation and Contemporary Design Architects

69 Middle Abbey Street,
Dublin D01 P5Y4

01 563 9021

9/9a Aungier Street, Dublin.

No.9-9a Aungier Street dates from around 1670 and is one of the most intact structures of its period to have survived anywhere in the country. The building is a Registered National Monument as well as a Protected Structure. While its front and rear walls were rebuilt during the late nineteenth century, its highly significant timber-framed internal structure remains in place, albeit in a much deteriorated condition. Of particular interest is the carved timber staircase, massive timber floor beams, exposed stud partitions, and massive chimney stacks.
No. 9/9a Aungier Street, Dublin 8 was built as a fine city residence. At the time, Aungier Street was being developed as a fashionable address and many sizeable houses were built. By the early eighteenth century, the area was already in decline, because of more fashionable alternatives and the close proximity of dirty industrial enterprises. By the middle of the eighteenth century, many of the large houses on Aungier Street were occupied as chambers for many of Dublin's barristers and solicitors, and later were used for light industrial uses.
Virtually all of the timber structural elements have been found to be softwood. Besides the oak pegs used to secure the various mortise and tenon connections, the only other oak timbers were found serving as stair stringers.  By contrast, softwood was used for floor joists and bressummer beams, for studs, top and bottom plates in the walls, and for the principal and secondary rafters, collar ties, purlins, valley beams and major support beams in the complex roof structure.  Unlike oak, it is not possible to reliably date softwood timbers using dendro-chronology in Ireland. It is, however, possible to glean substantial information from the existing timbers by paying close attention to details such as the methods of cutting and surfacing the timbers, their typical sectional dimensions, the details of their joints and connections, the design of the structural system, and by carefully reading the evidence of alterations and layering of building fabric.
Mesh Architects provided expert advice for the repairs to the unusual M-shaped roof, including new Welsh slates and strengthening to it internal timber structure. We have secured grant assistance for our client from Dublin City Council to facilitate this project.
A careful examination of the visible timber elements at No.9/9a Aungier Street reveals that a substantial amount of the timber structure has survived from the building's initial construction. Besides the good quality carved timber staircase, with its thick moulded handrails and turned vase-shaped balusters, the house has retained its unusual timber-framed internal partitions, and a large proportion of its original roof and floor framing. The house's staircase, with its thick moulded handrails and heavy turned balusters, is a rare survivor in Dublin and is highly significant. All of its details, including the square, moulded newel posts, closed stringers, thick moulded handrails, and turned balusters would be consistent with the mid to late seventeenth-century construction date. The stair rises in a rectangular stairwell, in the rear half of the house.
Many of the internal partitions date from the original construction period, and would be highly significant. These walls consist of timber studs, roughly 75mm square, with lath and plaster applied to only one side.  On the other side, plaster was applied between the studs, which were left exposed. The entire wall was then lime washed.
Because of the rarity of recognizable timber building fabric dating from before the eighteenth century, the timber roof, floor and wall framing surviving in No.9/9a Aungier Street are highly significant.  Although it has been heavily altered at the ground and first floor level, the timber staircase is also highly significant, having largely survived from the third quarter of the seventeenth century.

Mesh Architects - Tom McGimsey, Sunni L. Goodson, (Noel Shortt-3d model images), Civil / Structural Engineer - Lisa Edden, Main Contractor - Model Construction, Photography / images by Mesh Architects

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