Kelbuild recently handed over the completed Carnegie Free Library in Swords. The opening of this building marks a key advancement in the extensive Swords Cultural Quarter project currently underway by Fingal County Council.

The building, originally established in 1908 and recognised as a Protected Structure, will now function as a dynamic centre for community and arts-related activities. It features a new two-story extension which will enhance accessibility and services.

The comprehensive refurbishment, which took about a year to complete, aims to provide versatile workspaces and a creative hub for diverse community and arts events, including rehearsals and performances.

Scope of works:

Carnegie Free Library is a protected structure built in 1908 and is formed by traditional building construction of brick, stone with lime mortar and render. This offers unique challenges when carrying out the refurbishment works of this historic nature as its classed as breathable construction so only traditional building techniques could be used in this section of the works.

To insulate the exterior walls Kelbuild had to take care to remove the historic timber wainscoting to all the walls and then add additional Calsitherm insulation boards, and lime render finish internally before re-fitting the refurbished timber wainscoting.

The existing slates on the roof where replaced with new natural slates along with sustainable wood fibre insulation boards while re-instating the original 110 year old ridge & hip tiles.

This formed as part of the energy refurbishment upgrading required in order to bring the historic building up to a modern level of energy efficiency and comfort to last another 100 years. It takes great care and detail to undertake these types of works and Kelbuild remained dedicated to the quality of the finished product throughout this project.

The end result was fantastic with the majority of the historic fabric including the doors and windows being re-furbished by specialist rather than being replaced by new. This is vital when refurbishing a protected structure in order to save its architectural & historic value.

The original book lift was maintained and restored in the refurbishment and its a nod to the buildings original purpose.

Kelbuild enjoyed restoring this fabulous building and giving it a new lease of life.

Many thanks to our long standing clients Fingal County Council for giving us the opportunity to do further works in Swords Cultural Quarter.

Official Opening
Official Opening
Official Opening
Official Opening