Umbrellas – Meeting House Square

There is a saying in Ireland that you can have ‘four seasons in one day’. Warm spring sunshine can lead to intense summer light. Lively autumn gales can turn to a sudden wintry shower. Because Irish skies are constantly changing, Seán Harrington Architects was commissioned to find a solution. The innovative solution provides a convertible umbrella covering over a popular public square in Dublin’s Temple Bar area.

The landmark ‘Umbrella Project’s’ bespoke design comprises of 4no. 21-metre high steel structural masts.

Each mast supports an asymmetric tilted umbrella, measuring approximately 11-metres by 14-metres. Each closed umbrella is an elegant slim objects of sculptural beauty. When closed, the umbrella fabric is encapsulated by the umbrella arms. The form is inspired by bullrushes, reaching for the sky. Opening within approximately 7 minutes, the four umbrellas then overlap like flowers. This provides a continuous cover for Meeting House Square, at the heart of outdoor cultural activity in Dublin.

The project was commissioned by Temple Bar Cultural Trust (TBCT), following a public competition. The project completion marked the 20th anniversary of the urban regeneration of Temple Bar.

To learn more about the story of Meeting House Square, visit their website.

Client: Temple Bar Cultural Trust
Location: Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin

Project Team
Seán Harrington Architects:
Seán Harrington, Ryan Gillespie.

Structural and Civil Engineers:
Fearon O’Neill Rooney
Service Engineers: Delap & Waller
Quantity Surveyor: Austin Reddy & Co
Safety Consultants: Safety Solutions
Main Contractor (civil works):
Weslin Construction
Main Contractor (umbrella manufacture):

The International Architecture Award 2013 (from the Chicago Atheneum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies).
RIAI Awards 2013, Commended.

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