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1902 – Sunlight Chambers, Parliament Street, Dublin

Architect: Edward Ould

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Designed as Dublin offices for Lord Lever (of Lever Brothers), by the Liverpool architect Edward Ould who also designed Port Sunlight. Built in a romantic Italianate style with its wide overhanging eaves, tiled roof, and arcaded upper floors, the building boasts one of the most unusual architectural features in Dublin – two multicoloured terracotta friezes depicting the history of hygiene. Until recently these friezes were quite dirty but a restoration last year restored the building to its multicoloured brilliance.

The building met with resistance from architects in Dublin at the time due to the fact that a foreign architect had been hired (Lutyens also had this problem around this time). Upon its completion, ‘The Irish Builder’ referred to it as the ugliest building in Dublin, while a few years later the same journal called it ‘pretentious and mean’.

Around the corner on the quay facade, there is a strange little hiberno-romanesque detail which seems at odds with the rest of the building.