TCD gets permission for €9m revamp of Rubrics building

Imposing building featured in TV adaptation of Normal People

Trinity College Dublin was prominently featured in the TV adaptation of Normal People. Photograph: Enda Bowe

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has secured planning permission for a €9 million revamp of the college's Rubrics building which featured in the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People.

The imposing Rubrics – which can be seen by campus visitors as they enter TCD through its College Green pedestrian entrance – was built between 1699 and 1702 and is the oldest surviving building on the TCD city centre campus.

Earlier this year, the red-bricked building featured in the TV adaptation Normal People, acting as a venue for a party attended by Connell and Marianne.

TCD’s plan for the building involves the conservation of the protected structure and the delivery of 22 studio residential units and 36 student bedrooms.


A tender issued by the university has put a €9 million estimate on the revamp of the Rubrics and the Chief Steward’s House.

International award-winning design firm, Pascall+Watson is to lead the Rubrics revamp with the approach of “to do as much as necessary, but as little as possible”.

The designers say the building will require a considerable amount of work. Now largely vacant, it “has suffered numerous alterations and interventions” in its lifetime, they add.

Council approval

Dublin City Council granted planning permission for the proposal after its planner concluded that the plan "is likely to significantly improve and enhance the existing protected building, from a residential point of view and also from a preservation and maintenance perspective".

A TCD spokeswoman said the university is committed to maintaining the Rubrics as “a primarily residential building”.

“We look forward to once again filling the Rubrics with residents and life, and this refurbishment will sustain the Rubrics in full use for generations to come.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times