FARMLEIGH HOUSE, DUBLIN

Project Management of Large Scale Conservation

One of the most important conservation projects undertaken by the Irish State was the restoration and refurbishment of Farmleigh House. As the official state guest house, it’s used to accommodate dignitaries visiting Ireland such as heads of State from other countries. Southgate Associates operated in association with Horgan Lynch and Partners to provide an integrated service of structural and conservation engineering.

The Southgate Associates contract involved the conservation of the façade with the OPWs Building Maintenance Section and conservation adviser on the conservation of the architecturally significant conservatory.

Chris Southgate and Associates persuaded the OPW to consider the conservation of the existing curvilinear glass-house as an alternative to reconstruction. This involved careful consideration of glass design using low energy films and intelligent use of the building throughout the cold season resulting in the maximum energy efficiency of a building with potentially high heat loss.

Working with industrial designer Sean Billings, research was carried out on glazing and sealant materials to involve maximum life span and lowest costs. Analysis of the structure in liaison with Horgan Lynch and Partners involved minimum intervention strengthening which had no visual impact and achieved the project on budget and on programme.

Conservation of Farmleigh House was a high-level Government project and is regarded as a flag-ship best-practice case study. The project value of the conservation works was €24 million.