If you wander through Dublin’s remaining pockets of industrial buildings, it starts to seem like every factory and warehouse that wasn’t replaced by apartments has been given over to file storage. Presumably, it’s the kind of demand that stays strong through a recession, and though the changes that might be required are major, there’s no need for aesthetically appealing finish. Reinforce the structure for the extremely heavy load of an archive. Fire-proof where necessary. Fire doors. Lots and lots of shelves.
This tiled building sits between the Donnelly Centre (built around 1980 on the site of a bacon factory) and Brú Chaoimhín (completed 1808, formerly a fever hospital, now a nursing home). It looks like it was for light industry, though it could have been offices, and it’s certainly seen better days.
The tiles are gorgeous, though, with a blue, grey and red diamond ripple pattern on the ground floor, and the same blue and grey rising in a zig-zag to either side of the facade. It’s a pedestrian-scaled effect: it reads as murky as you move away, but it’s vivid and lively as you pass by.