Widely regarded as Ireland’s finest modernist building, the Berkeley is a brutalist gem that looks as good now as when it opened in 1967. The elders of Trinity College Dublin wanted a building that spoke to the 20th century as characteristically as its neighbours the Old Library and Museum Building did to the 18th and 19th centuries respectively. And speak to the 20th century it certainly does. Designed by Paul Koralek at the tender age of 28, it was the first building in what would turn out to be a long and dazzling career. Built in situ by master builders G. & T. Crampton using concrete poured into Douglas fir formwork, the building was the product of Koralek’s precocious imagination but also a legion of artisans. Now part of a larger complex of three linked library buildings, it remains one of the most stunning buildings in Dublin and retains the power to provoke strong reactions in all who see it.

Share