Cathal Brugha Barracks

A flagship project for the 1916 Rising Commemorations


Cathal Brugha Barracks


McCullough Mulvin Architects


Private Client


Construction, Public & Community

GEM Construction completed Military Archives, Cathal Brugha Barracks which was a flagship project for the 1916 Rising Commemorations programme.

The Military Archive facility allows for the consolidation of all military archives material that was stored at a number of locations around the country into one new national facility. The storage is provided in a new archive block over two storeys with links at two levels to an existing two storey building of heritage value, originally designed as a Barracks Hospital and constructed circa 1903.

This building has been sensitively refurbished to provide a library with reading rooms, administration areas, new feature entrance and ancillary facilities for public access to the facility. Due to height constraints on the site, the new Archives Block is sunk by a ½ storey into the ground, creating a half-basement for the lower storage level. Also due to a tight programme to enable the project to be ready for the 2016 commemorations, the main structure consists of a precast concrete frame that has 4hours fire resistance to meet archive facility requirements.

The archive storage is an automated mobile cabinet system, which is designed to the best international standards and provides an excellent storage environment. The fit out of this building internally was detailed and methodical in relation to set out and sequence of works. 

The high specification was again apparent in the fit out of the M&E which included installation of a ducted ventilation system along with heat recovery and a fire suppression system suitable for the contents of the building on its completion.  Electrically a fire detection/alarm system, heavily congested lighting arrangement (due to the nature of the building) and a leak detection system were among some of the systems installed.