Belvedere House

CompanyRkd Architects
Lead DesignerSimone Bonavia
Design TeamConservation Architect: David Slattery Plasterwork Consultant: Dr. Jason Bolton Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: J.V. Tierney & Company Structural Engineers: Garland Consultancy Quantity Surveyors: Brendan Merry and Partners Contractors: Kelly Builders (Rosemount) Ltd. Stonework: Nolans Group Plasterwork Repair & Decoration: George O’Malley Plastering Sash Window Works: South City Window Designs Furniture Suppliers: Castlebrook, Bizquip Interiors, Fine Edge Design
PrizeArchitectural Design / Restoration & Renovation

Belvedere House was completed in 1786 for George Augustus Rochfort, 2nd Earl of Belvedere. The house was built to the designs of architect Robert West and features the work of renowned stuccodor Michael Stapleton. In 1841 the building was purchased by the Jesuits and has been home to Belvedere College ever since. RKD Architects was appointed by Belvedere College to restore the 18th century house back into full use capable of facilitating large functions, meetings, staff work/recreational areas and visitors’ accommodation. The design approach for each of the floors was informed by the significance of the existing historic decoration in the building as well as the function. The intervention in the Stapleton interiors at hall and first floor levels was minimal and in a style that reflects the Georgian architecture. A contemporary intervention was designed for the upper levels which were simpler in detail and which had undergone significant changes over the years. Works to the splendid suite of the three first floor interconnecting rooms and the central staircase with their impressive plasterwork detail were the focus of the project. The second floor being the only floor in the house linked to the rest of the campus to both east and west made it the ideal place for the teaching staff centre. This floor was opened up to its original proportions allowing light and visual connection throughout, generating a sense of space. The humble nature of the third floor, arising from its size and proportions was retained and reflected in the design and materials used. The project boasts the best of local craftsmanship in its restoration. The work involved in this project is best appreciated when related to the condition of the house at the onset of the project.