National Library of Ireland unveils Lego model of its building

The National Library of Ireland has recently (24 May) unveiled a large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street.

The model has been commissioned alongside the ongoing redevelopment of the main NLI building on Kildare Street. The first phase of the redevelopment programme ran from 2017 until 2019, moving 350,000 books, newspapers and periodicals from the Victorian ‘West Wing’ to newly-developed, safe book storage. The coming phase will redevelop the West Wing as six storeys of exhibition and public engagement space, and will ensure universal access for all visitors.

The model shows the current building and imagines how the National Library of Ireland might look when the project is complete.  Over the last four years, Lego hobbyists David and Breda Fennell worked closely with staff at the National Library of Ireland to create a design that represents the main concepts of the soon-to-be redeveloped Library, and which facilitated creativity and some fun features. The model is one of the largest of its kind in Ireland:  It measures 180cm x 168cm and stands at 60cms high.
Speaking at the unveiling, NLI’s Acting Director Katherine McSharry said: “As we move through our redevelopment programme, this hugely impressive model offers the public the opportunity to reimagine the National Library of Ireland with us. This next phase of our capital development programme, a partnership with the OPW and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media, will result in the complete renovation of our former book store into an exciting cultural experience – creating a major new public space for a new generation of visitors. This once-in-a-lifetime building project will deliver major new exhibition galleries, universal access for all, new learning and event facilities, a new shop and café, and enticing new public spaces for everyone to enjoy.

“The Lego model highlights both the opportunities offered by our redevelopment, and celebrates the much-loved features of our Victorian buildings. David and Breda have recreated the Library’s iconic Reading Room with a skill and attention to detail that will charm and delight all our visitors.”

The Lego model will remain in place in the main entrance hall (times below) of the National Library on Kildare Street throughout 2022.  No appointments are necessary: just drop in and reimagine your National Library.

Monday, Thursday & Friday, 9.30am - 5pm
Tuesday - Wednesday, 9.30am - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday, 9.30am - 5pm

Main Entrance, Kildare St.
Main Entrance, Kildare St.
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