Casino at Marino, County Dublin
Designed by Scottish architect Sir William Chamber for James Caulfield (the 1st Earl of Charlemont) the Casino at Marino can be found in Marino, Dublin. Building on this fantastic monument started in the late 1750’s and finished around 1775. Situated in the gardens of Marino House, this small structure demonstrates 18th Century Neo-Classical architecture at its finest. In a bitter sweet turn of events Chambers, despite being extremely proud of his design, was never able to visit the completed building due to his constant employment in England.
The Casino (meaning “small house”) is widely regarded as the most important Neo-Classical building in Ireland. It measures a mere fifty square feet from column to column and takes the form of a Greek Cross with a pair of columns framing each projecting elevation. To view the building from outside, it would appear that the structure only houses a single room however the Casino actually has sixteen rooms on three floors. This is achieved through subtle curving in the windows, which disguise the partition between rooms.
Many other such tricks feature through the design in order to preserve the apparent outward simplicity of the building. Four of the columns, which surround the building are hollow and, with a length of chain dangling in each, allows rainwater to drain down, whilst the Roman funerary urns on the roof are used as chimneys.
The interior, designed by Virple, includes a basement level with a kitchen and associated rooms, a main floor with reception rooms and a top storey with servants rooms and a state bedroom. It contains some very fine plasterwork ceilings and some elaborate hardwood parquet floors.
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