Project Description

National Famine Museum & Strokestown Park House

Description of Works

Project National Famine Museum & Strokestown Park House
Client Irish Heritage Trust, Failte Ireland and Westward Holdings
Architect Axo Architects
Museum Design & Install Tandem Design
Engineer IN2 Engineering & CHH Consulting Engineers
Project Manager KSN Project Management

Project Summary

Kelbuild were tasked with upgrading the dilapidated existing museum, turning it into a compelling, emotive, and highly interactive visitor experience while maintaining the authenticity of the original features of the existing buildings and outhouses; all the while providing the best quality finish for the client. The new museum tells the stories of the harrowing experiences at Strokestown during the 1800’s, along with the addition of a new spacious visitor centre and bright new destination café, which showcases local produce. The final piece of this project was to conserve & restore the old, vaulted stables and transform them into a new boutique space to host cultural events and ceremonies.

Works also included:

  • A new Feature Entrance formed through the existing stone walls.
  • A new state of the art café facility including fully openable terrace area, including period correct boundary treatments.
  • The renovation of the Existing Museum to include for a fully interpretive and interactive experience showcasing the Famine Era in Ireland.
  • A full civil upgrade to facility including drainage/services/feature pathways.
  • A Life Safety Systems upgrade and Humidity Control measures to Strokestown Park House.

Key Elements of this Project

Control of Humidity in Strokestown Park House

Strokestown Park House originates back to the 1800’s so it was crucial to control the humidity levels in a house of its era. Kelbuild installed over 50 LST radiators along with 15 humidity monitors located strategically throughout the house to monitor and record the humidity levels on a PC which gives live readings of the client. This advanced technology also allows for the individual control of each radiator independently throughout the house. Such a system will make an huge impact on the preservation of all the remaining pieces of original furniture and memorabilia in the house.

Green Energy

Due to the current need to use as much green energy and be sustainable going forward, it was established with the client that with the installation of such a significant number of electrical radiators and controllers, it was important for the project to review the energy consumption and supply. Traditionally the house had a “hydro generator”, a unique solution installed in the early 1900`s taking in the fact that the house was ahead of its time in the renewable sector, it was fitting that in a now sustainably conscious era that the supply for the new electrical install be by way of PV Panels. The PV install consisted of a 12kW.array which based on calculations provided enough generation to maintain the radiators at the required output over the course of a year.

Polished Concrete Floor

Throughout the new Visitor Centre Reception / Café & Café Seating Area is a striking polished concrete floor which was part of the main concept for this design; however, there were a number of factors we had to consider with the client before this could be implemented. Due to factors such as underfloor heating, the historic walls, layouts not suitable to right angle control joints, differing levels throughout the space, slip resistance and the inclusion of feature plaques and brass strips it was never going to be an easy task. However, Kelbuild, along with skilled subcontractors managed to bring the design teams vison to life, to provide that “WOW” factor upon entering in order to set a hallmark for the Hidden Heartland arm of Failte Ireland and Irish Heritage Trust.

We are immensely proud of the quality and standard in which we handed this project back to the client, and thank you to all the Kelbuild team, suppliers and subcontractors who worked along side us to make it happen.

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