TODAY I TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT GLASNEVIN HILL
The Irish Meteorological Office in Glasnevin was built in 1979 to designs by celebrated Irish architect Liam McCormick (1916-1996), who is best known for his ecclesiastical buildings in north-western Ireland. It is a striking building in the form of a truncated pyramid, characteristically designed by McCormick to respond to the particular requirements of the client.
The sloped elevations incorporate numerous windows and balconies designed to give a good view of the sky from inside the building, while the flat roof supports the necessary monitoring equipment.
There are some familiar McCormick devices, including the porch chains and the use of landscaped pools to collect rainwater, eschewing the need for gutters. The building is generally retained as built, but the original Ballinasloe limestone cladding, which was not the architect’s first choice, proved unsuitable and has been replaced with metal panels. The original material proposed for cladding was imported blue slate, but concerns were raised about the use of imported material.
The Irish Meteorological Service, Ireland’s weather forecasting service, started in December 1936. Its first job was to take over weather forecasting in Ireland from the British Meteorological Office, the transfer taking place on 1st April 1937. The building stands on the site of Marlborough House, a large five-bay three-storey eighteenth-century house used as a teacher training college and later (until 1972) as a detention centre for boys.