McCullough Mulvin Architects revives medieval church with lead-clad extensions - architecture and design

McCullough Mulvin Architects revives medieval church with lead-clad extensions



The lost aisle and the chancel of a former church have been reconstructed and clad in lead to create the Medieval Mile Museum in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Dublin-based McCullough Mulvin Architects was commissioned by Kilkenny County Council to convert the 13th century structure and former church into Medieval Mile Museum, which celebrates the heritage of what was once the medieval capital of Ireland.

McCullough Mulvin Architects restored the church's original medieval spatial complexity and incorporated the many later alterations.
St Mary's Church had been used as a Parish and Masonic Hall since the mid 20th century, before being purchased by Kilkenny Council in 2010.

"The church had acquired depth and complexity in monuments and nave aisles, elements which were later shorn off," said the architects. "The aisles had been removed and the chancel demolished, a shape expanding and contracting through a violent cycle of change."

Excavations also revealed further foundations under the earth, onto which new structures for the Medieval Mile Museum were built.
"The project became an experiment in the use of archaeology to help define an architectural solution," the practice added.

The northern aisle of the church and its chancel  ? the space around the altar ? have been completely rebuilt following the original plan and surviving base of the original walls.

Rather than restore with matching stone, McCullough Mulvin Architects introduced a new materiality...
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