The Redevelopment of the National Library of Ireland

National Library of Ireland

Lawler Consulting is proud to have played a key role in the redevelopment of the National Library of Ireland (NLI).

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) was established by the Dublin Science and Art Museum Act 1877, which provided that the bulk of the collections in the possession of the Royal Dublin Society, should be vested in the then Department of Science and Art for the benefit of the public and of the Society, and for the purposes of the Act.


Redevelopment of the National Library of Ireland

A €10 million capital investment plan for the NLI was announced in 2017 to address some key areas of improvement.

Included in this plan is the refurbishment of the 1890s building to meet modern standards.

The building will be upgraded to ensure top of the range:

  • Universal access
  • Security
  • Health and safety
  • Fire prevention
  • Mechanical and electrical services (M&E)
  • Environmental sustainability


Mechanical & Electrical

The M&E services previously in place needed to be updated drastically in order to bring the NLI up to modern standards. Additionally, upgrading the M&E services in place was a necessary step in our sustainability strategy for the NLI.

We provided new M&E installation to all floors and clear access routes to facilitate future maintenance and replacement and in preparation for later fit-out phases. The new M&E systems installed included:

  • General Electrical
  • Lighting
  • Smoke Detection
  • Emergency Lighting
  • New mechanical installations, environmental monitoring, and controls
  • CCTV and Security Systems
  • Fire protection and sprinkler system in the building to tie in with the existing NLI installation and water storage in the car park
  • Wiring for AV and exhibition installations


Exhibition Spaces – Basement, First and Second Floor

Our team was also instrumental in the fitting out and updating of the library’s various exhibition spaces.

  • Café servery, equipment fit-out, and furniture
  • Reception desk and shop fit-out and furniture
  • Resource and learning space fit-out and furniture
  • Specialist AV installations, interactive exhibitions / screens.


Project Outcome

This project came with a number of important objectives, all of which were met and exceeded by our team.

  1. Open the West Wing Building fronting onto Kildare Street, formerly library storage, to the public
  2. Provide high-quality exhibition spaces, education, retail, and public facilities which best serves the need of the National Library in line with current standards and in a sustainable manner
  3. Achieve the conservation, repair, and refurbishment of the existing historic fabric, structure, and envelope of the National Library West Wing and adjoining spaces
  4. Provide a new vertical circulation building to the rear which provides for universal access for all and fire evacuation to the West Wing and other areas and levels within the library building
  5.  Ensure high-level security, fire protection, services, and environmental standards are met for both the building and for the protection of the NLI National Collection housed within
  6. Ensure that the historic building fabric, ventilation, and air circulations are analysed, and understood and that mechanical environmental controls introduced are designed to best support the historic function of the fabric
  7. Ensure that the National Library can continue to provide a public service and protection of the collections within the existing building during the project. Measures are being put in place to protect fully against dust and fire and to mitigate and manage noise impacts in so far as possible


Do you want to learn more about the work we do here at Lawler Consulting? Check out our Project Portfolio or follow us on LinkedIn. 

Request a call back

Speak to an