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The Guinness Storehouse

Part 2 Dissertation 2006
Queen's University Belfast, UK
When the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland, is considered we think of the attraction that tourists flock to in a quest to find out how the ‘Black Stuff’ is brewed. What many people don’t expect is just how striking a building the Guinness Storehouse is.

When investigating the Guinness Storehouse several questions presented themselves concerning the building. Why was it built? Why was it preserved for re-use? Is it, as it is claimed to be the first multi-storey framed building in Ireland and indeed the British Isles? If so, why has its importance been overlooked? Is it really a true steel-framed building?

In order to answer these questions I have concentrated on and investigated three general areas of discussion.
? The historical context of the Storehouse: the development of multi-storey framing in America, the expression of the skyscraper, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and how their influence spread to Europe.
? The design of the building itself, why it was built, the technology that allowed it to be built, who built it and the form it was given.
? The recent re-use of the building, and its regeneration.

Through the course of the investigation a wide variety of sources have been utilised. These include library based research, including books, journal articles and newspaper articles. I have particularly focused on journals and newpaper articles contemporary to the construction and completion of the Storehouse.

From the research conducted the most significant conclusion is that the Storehouse can justifiably be considered to have indeed been the first large scale multi-storey steel framed building in Ireland and the British Isles. It pedates the Ritz, London, completed in 1906, considered to be the first large scale multi-storey building in Britain.

It can be said that the importance of the Guinness Storehouse has been identified by some architectural writers on a national level, it is plain to see however, that it has been ignored on any international level. Through this dissertation I have endeavored to show that it should be recognised and celebrated for the truly unique aesthetically and technologically pioneering building that it is.

This is an interesting topic which has been well handled, set out with great clarity of purpose. The question posed and the methodology are clearly stated. There is a good range of source material, properly used, and the final production is competent with only a few minor grammatical errors.

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