Once the centre of brewing operations, the vats have now been removed and the Brewhouse is being carefully transformed and redeveloped to create a bespoke modern work space. The building is the only example of Bauhaus architecture in Kilkenny. This unique building is located beside the old abbey and has frontage on to Horse Barrack Lane which is being completely re-landscaped to provide high quality public space, all within a few minutes walk of the centre of the city.
The Brewhouse retention and redevelopment is an important link to the former industrial and brewing history of the Abbey Quarter site and accords with the principle of sustainable re-use of existing buildings. The redesign will ensure a high level upgrade to modern standards whilst respecting the industrial heritage of the building. The upgrade will keep the “industrial feel” of the building whilst delivering quality offices that meet the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design [LEED] standard with sustainability at the core of all design decisions for the building. When complete the Brewhouse will comprise 4500 sq metres of high Grade A office space, divided into 12 units wrapped around a central atrium. The building will be ready for fit out by the end of summer 2020.
The Mayfair Building is an iconic landmark located at the entrance to the Abbey Quarter. It holds huge importance for the people of Kilkenny in terms of its social heritage. The building was originally constructed as a ballroom and first opened its doors on St Stephen’s night in 1943. It was one of the main ballrooms in Kilkenny during the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s up to when it closed in 1973. The building was acquired by Smithwicks in 1973 for use as offices, staff canteen and locker room. The building continued to be used by the Brewery until the Brewery closure in 2013.
The Mayfair Building will be converted into a modern public Library for Kilkenny. Once completed, the service provided will include ‘My Open Library’, which will offer extended opening hours, providing additional library access to members from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, 365 days per year. All going to plan work will commence Q1 2020 and the library along with the adjacent public realm should be complete in tandem with the Brewhouse by end of 2020.