The Arts Building provides teaching facilities for over 200 academic staff and 3700 graduates and undergraduates, incorporating the Faculties of Arts Humanities, Arts Letters, Economics and Social Studies. It is conceived within the context of an expanding university structure, and as part of Trinity College as a whole. Adjoining Nassau Street, and together with our Berkeley Library and the Old Library (Thomas Burgh 1972), the Arts Building forms the enclosure to Fellows’ Square.

The brief posed the problem of increasing the volume and density of the College whilst maintaining its present scale and character. Our proposal results in an unusually compact, deep plan building with its height restricted to below that of the Old Library opposite. The accomodation is distributed over five floors. The lower two levels contain large lecture theatres, including the 400 seat Edmund Burke Hall and other non-departmental elements such as the Douglas Hyde Gallery and the Lecky Library. A main concourse connects these spaces.

The top floors house the staff rooms and offices, as well as smaller lecture and seminar rooms. These are organised as clusters of accomodation arranged in large areas of flexible floor space. The deep plan floors are penetrated by internal courts and indents and are stepped in section, to allow light and air to penetrate to the central areas.

In the 2000s, ABK Architects was commissioned to add another floor above the roof, and carry out renovation works throughout the whole building.

Photographs by John Donat