KEAVANS PORT HOTEL
We are delighted to have worked as Architects alongside KDPA, as part of the professional team on the creation and delivery of JD Wetherspoon’s flagship pub and hotel ‘Keavan’s Port’ on Dublin’s Camden Street; marking the completion of the company’s single largest investment in its 41-year history.
The three-year restoration consists of eight Georgian townhouses and a chapel with the addition of a three-storey modern extension featuring a 12-metre- high glazed atrium. The pub, named Keavan’s Port, has an adjoining 89-bedroom hotel: taking its name from the history of the local area, where Camden Street Upper and Camden Street Lower form part of an ancient highway into the city of Dublin; the two streets previously being known as St Kevin’s Port.
The new opening has had a positive impact on the street. Previously derelict buildings, that once included a convent, a chapel, a stained glass works and even a boxing gym, have now been given a new lease of life and raison d’etre. The entire length of the front elevation has wig pointed brickwork (a highly specialised craft skill) by conservation specialists The Nolan Group. It features the spectacular bullseye rose window and stained-glass entrance doors to the hotel (restored by Joe Sheridan in Kilkenny) framed by an ironwork arch, railings and lanterns by Bushy Park Ironworks. The team worked in conjunction David Slattery Conservation Architects and planning consultants Brock McClure in helping to realise the project.
The interior of the pub is vast and full of light thanks to the huge atrium which marks a clear definition between the old buildings and the new rear extension. It overlooks the beer garden below, an extensive area that would have originally been interlinked residential gardens. An immediate focal point being the restored chapel dating from the 1890s, now a restaurant with confession box dining areas and mosaic floors restored by (Laura O’Hagan). The domed ceiling in the apse that once overlooked Beau Jacks boxing ring has also been returned to its former glory.
The project has attracted great interest since its launch and has featured in both The Irish Times and Irish Independent with articles by Nicola Brady and Deidre McQuillan.
“The interior atrium is a bit of a masterpiece. The combination of giant steel beams and the restored brickwork gives the whole thing a uniquely stylish, industrial-chic vibe. And the walls are all adorned with pieces by Irish artists, including a giant wire sculpture by Emma Jane Rushworth, inspired by Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney’s poem St Kevin and the Blackbird.''
“The restoration of beautiful Georgian architecture and precious stained glass pieces in Dublin in this way is something that can only be celebrated.”