Maynes Pharmacy Cork

Pembroke St. Cork

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This project started off with a meeting with the client on site of a pharmacy that had been in use since we think 1824. Previously incarnated as an Apothecary and Chemist it closed its doors with the retirement of owner Jim Byrne in October 2011. The client asked me what I would change: “very little” I replied. We were on the same page.

Structurally this building was in very bad shape. It was falling down and had literally been bolted together over the years. Shane O’Toole of Shane Construction was appointed the main contractor. He has a great ability to gently rebuild a building using the approach that everything you do should improve a structural problem, not create one. This was essential in rebuilding sections of building of this type.

The interior was designed as a permanent record of the commercial life of a chemist both lived and passing. All the elements within this bar are from the building and the previous businesses. We designed three new cabinets to assist in housing its past lives. Most of the cabinets made during Frank Murphy’s re-design in 1954 were re-used. (We found the original drawing upstairs) The overall aesthetic was a conservation drive and historical archive. The bar was reused cabinets; the paint effects were using lime, cut tile dust, old newspapers, stained wallpaper and re-made neon. The old drug ledgers are on prominent display which serves to inform of treatments past.

The main part of the interior that was created new was the entrance foyer, made by  Paul O’Toole, the door gates and wine dispenser gates,  and the area opposite the toilets were all made new by Ronan Iron Craft. We purposely rusted them in the sea at Garretstown beach to get that real old used look

I sourced the floor tiles from a ditch in Glanmire, so they were perfectly weathered!!

The stocking of the shelves was done by staff members notably Cherry Faye Graham. This took nearly a month’s painstaking stocking and re-stocking until the effect was just right.

There is a proposal within the design to have a permanent rotating exhibition space upstairs that would be used by Irish and visiting artists.

I look forward to this phase being executed!

Overall this was a very simple design, but with all simple design, the complexity of the solution took micro managing and a few pints to ensure it looked just perfect!

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Main contractor: Shane O’Toole, Shane Construction

Structural engineer: John Lee of Malachy Walsh