Military Archives

Project Information

Location: Rathmines, Dublin 6

Client: Department of Defence

Brick Brand: Vandersanden Brick

Brick Used: Lithium

Architects:  McCullough Mulvin Architects

Year Built: 2016

Awards: Winner of the Best Cultural/Public/Community Building at the RIAI Architecture Awards 2017


Bricks supplied by Kingscourt Country Manor Bricks have helped make the Military Archives building in Dublin the award-winning, sustainable and beautiful project it is today. Designed by McCullough Mulvin Architects, the Military Archives scooped the Best Cultural/Public/Community Building at the RIAI Architecture Awards 2017, thanks in part to the aesthetically pleasing, durable range of bricks supplied by the Santry-based brick firm.

The Military Archives in Rathmines, Dublin 6 is a historic building with a rich and diverse heritage. Made up of two sections, the new part is made of brick and comprises two large archive rooms while the old part is one half of an old stone and brick hospital block dating from the early years of the barracks. Architects Niall Mulvin and Corán McCullough have turned this section on its end and added a new entrance that now leads to a new public library and reading room. The building has been transformed into a high class National Military Archive facility for both Department of Defence and Defence Forces’ material.

Selecting a brick that complemented and blended seamlessly with the existing façade was of the utmost importance to the architects. With such a wide-ranging and diverse product portfolio available to them, the architects had no difficulty in selecting the right brick for the job. ‘Lithium’ facing bricks in grey with a bucket handle finish were the architect’s brick of choice, a perfect match for the existing brickwork. Aesthetically, the new bricks work extremely well but were also chosen for their natural and sustainable qualities.

The ‘Lithium’ bricks used on the Military Archives building were manufactured by the Vandersanden Group, a trend-setting brick manufacturer with over 90 years’ experience in creating more than 100 facing bricks and brick slips in various colours, textures and sizes. Unique and very specific bricks like those found in the ‘Lithium’ range proved the perfect choice for this very special project, which has been designed to house the extensive archive built up by the Irish Army over the years since the foundation of the State. The Military Archives is now home to Army records, depositions concerning the War of Independence, maps and films.

McCullough Mulvin Architects’ big win at this year’s RIAI Awards is testament to the architect’s commitment to creating an inviting and user-friendly facility that has remained sympathetic to the existing, historic buildings. All elements of the building work in harmony with each other, including the new bricks which beautifully complement the existing façade and will continue to do so for many years to come.