Trinity College Dublin Old Library

Five teams will be shortlisted for the €5 million contract to overhaul the Old Library. The €90 million project is part-funded by the Department ofHousing, Local Government and Heritage and Fáilte Ireland and is expected to take around 5 years to complete.

According to the brief: ‘Like many great cultural and historic buildings across the world, the Old Library is undertaking a comprehensive programme to protect both the building and the precious collections it houses. It is also taking this opportunity to make its collections and its facilities more accessible to international scholars and visitors.

‘The stewardship of the building and collections requires creative re-imagination of the spatial configuration, circulation, and interior environment. This must happen in concert with the protection—and in some cases the restoration—of its historic fabric and essential services.’

The winning team will conserve and revamp the Thomas Burgh-designed 1732 Old Library where the famous Book of Kells is kept. The building is the centrepiece of the university’s 16.7ha College Green campus.

Project title Integrated Design Team Services (Architect Led) for the Old Library Redevelopment Project at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
Client Trinity College Dublin
Contract value €90 million
First round deadline Midday, 13 September 2023
Restrictions Applicants must have a turnover of at least €500,000 per annum for the most recent three previous financial years
More information


Trinity College sits opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament. It was founded in 1592 and is the oldest university in the country.

The project, planned to complete in 2029, will revitalise the 3,560m² complex which houses thousands of manuscripts, early printed books and other collections and is a major tourist destination. The search for a design team comes just five months after TCD announced a new €4 million conservation architecture framework.

Applicants must hold public liability insurance of €6.5 million, employer’s liability insurance of €13.5 million and professional indemnity of €6.5 million.

Competition details

The call for applications comes eight years after Dublin-based Heneghan Peng Architects won a publicly tendered contract worth €700,000 to design a visitor centre inside ABK’s Berkeley Library at University of Dublin Trinity College. In 2020, TCD launched a search for a masterplanner to rethink its historic campus and other key sites.