ABK Architects: Peter Ahrends, Richard Burton and Paul Koralek
Structural Engineers: Felix Samuely and Partners, Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: Steensen Varming Mulcahy
Building Contractor: G & T Crampton Typology
Concrete by reinforcement
Concrete is a relatively brittle material that is strong in compression but less so in tension.
To increase its overall strength, steel rods, wires, mesh or cables may be embedded in concrete before it sets. This reinforcement, often known as rebar, resists tensile forces. By forming a strong bond, the two materials are able to resist a variety of applied forces, effectively acting as a single structural element .
In this case, the concrete can be made by mixing the components directly on site, or it may be transported from a production plant in concrete-mixer trucks.
This method has the disadvantage of leaving the concrete exposed to the elements while it is setting. Whereas, with other methods, the environmental conditions can be controlled during setting, providing greater control over the outcome, with cast-in-place concrete a series of tests and protocols are necessary to verify its final strength.
- textured walls
- wooden formwork finish
- stamped concrete
- exposed aggregate concrete, colored concrete, etc.
Beams are the horizontal load-bearing elements of the frame. Columns are the vertical elements of the frame and act as the building’s primary load-bearing element. They transmit the beam loads down to the foundations.
Trussed beams are the cheapest solution for the execution of large spans, in other words, when there are large distances between vertical supports. In reality, this type of beam is a kind of lattice, made up of a series of shorter braces (posts and struts).
Trussed beams are usually made of steel or wood, since some of the elements of the structure will be subject to compression and others to traction. As such, it is unusual for structures of this type to be built only with concrete. Using a combination of concrete for compression and steel to absorb traction results in better structural performance.
State of Conservation
The library of Trinity College occupies six buildings on the campus itself and others outside it. The main building, dating from 1712, is the most prominent design by the architect and engineer Thomas Burgh, a master of Irish classicism.
When the new Brutalist concrete building was put up in a neighboring square, the contrast between the architectural styles incited a fair amount of controversy and disapproval among the university community. Indeed, the new architecture contains few contextual elements in its composition that refer to the neoclassical architecture surrounding it. In addition, the position of the building is also unique in relation to the layout of the campus: it pulls back from the established façade lines to generate a raised square between the building and the street. All the elements that led the building to win the competition were neither understood nor appreciated at first.
Concrete, with a distinct texture that reflects the wood of the formwork, is the dominant material both on the exterior, where it is combined with stone of a very similar grey color, and in the interior. It is in the interior space where the concrete reaches its expressive heights: not only is it omnipresent in the structural and constructive elements, even some of the fixed furniture elements are molded in concrete. The opacity of the exterior, interrupted only by a few delicate bow-windows with curved glass, contrasts with the luminosity of the interior, marked by the light coming from overhead.
The negative perceptions of the building have fallen away over time; today, it is considered one of the most important modern buildings in Ireland and the pride of the Trinity College campus.
Trinity College Dublin, College St, Dublin 2
Leinster (Province) Dublin (County) 8PVV+FJ Dublin
Fundación DOCOMOMO Ibérico