Valerie Mulvin, Ruairí Ó Cuív, Gerard Byrne, and Ellen Rowley discuss the making and impact of TBG+S and the importance of studio spaces.

In 1993, McCullough Mulvin Architects was commissioned by Temple Bar Galley + Studios to augment the building in Temple Bar. The brief sought a quality studio environment of thirty individual rooms and the provision of a new street-facing gallery. The building was, as architect Valerie Mulvin notes, ‘a hugely important part of our life and our development as architects.’ TBG+S was to be an anchor building in the newly formed Temple Bar Cultural Quarter, housing 24 arts organisations, funded by European Structural Funds, leading to the creation of many new public cultural buildings in Temple Bar, by talented young architects in the early 1990’s. Today, TBG+S remains an exemplar studio and gallery building. The studios are light-filled and spacious; the gallery is easy to access, and flexible to the demands of contemporary art and exhibition display. Part of the building’s magic is its support of an artist’s community right in the centre of the city. However, over the last decade or more, the city has lost many studio spaces. And though there are various plans for new studio provision on the horizon, these have yet to manifest. The need to provide studio spaces of decent quality, various scales and secure tenure, in the city, has never seemed more apparent and urgent.

Valerie Mulvin is a co-founder of McCullough Mulvin Architects, a Dublin-based practice focusing on the design of sustainable cultural, educational and civic buildings, with an interest in innovative contemporary architecture, place, and history. As part of Group 91, designers of the competition-winning Temple Bar Framework Plan, she designed Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and Black Church Print Studio.

Ruairí Ó Cuív is Public Art Officer with Dublin City Council since 2008. Previously he was an independent curator and arts consultant specialising in public art, exhibition curation, feasibility studies, evaluation and research. He was director of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (1991-96), curator of exhibitions at the Douglas Hyde Gallery,(1989-91) and Royal Hospital Kilmainham (1987-89).

Gerard Byrne has exhibited at Skulptur Projekte Muenster (2017), Documenta 13, 54th Venice Biennale, and biennials in Sydney, Gwangju, Lyon, and Istanbul. Solo exhibitions include Secession, Vienna (2019), Whitechapel Gallery (2013), IMMA (2011). Byrne represented Ireland at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) and received the Paul Hamlyn award (2006). He is represented by Lisson Gallery internationally, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, and Nordenhake Gallery, Stockholm. He holds a professorships at Staedelschule, Frankfurt (2018-) and is a member of Aosdana.

Ellen Rowley is Assistant Professor in Modern Irish Architecture at the School of Architecture (APEP), UCD. She is a teacher, researcher and writer interested in architectural obsolescence, the intersection of social histories and buildings, and the place of the Catholic Church in Ireland’s built environment. Her current research, Evolving Legacies, is looking at the life of Catholic buildings in Ireland while her primary teaching interest is in housing, community and participatory design.

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is a leading artists’ studio complex and contemporary art gallery. This year, TBG+S marks 40 years of artists working in the city. This special event is part of a programme of talks, tours, open studios and performances, as we open our doors in celebration of this milestone.