Old Man’s House: The Story of the RHK

The Old Man’s House exhibition tells the story of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham (RHK) from its beginnings as a home for retired soldiers through to the opening of IMMA in 1991.

The building is a magnificent structure to walk through while viewing the exhibits, and one can feel the history. There is a very fine room devoted to its history, with displays, audio visual etc which should be visited.

- Tripadvisor

The history of the Kilmainham site includes ancient burial grounds, early Christian monuments, a Viking settlement and a medieval monastery. The RHK was open as a retirement home and infirmary for nearly 250 years for generations of military veterans who lived and died there. The Old Man’s House explores the entire span of the site’s history right up to the founding of IMMA in a compact two-room exhibition.

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, now home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), is one of Dublin’s most iconic buildings and Ireland’s foremost example of fine 17th-century architecture.

Built in 1680, based on Les Invalides in Paris, it served as a retirement home and infirmary for nearly 250 years for generations of military veterans. Old Man’s House explores the stories of the soldiers who lived and died at the Royal Hospital alongside those of the hospital staff.

EPIC was commissioned by the OPW to expand the offering at RHK by a heritage exhibition that would bring to life the history of the building and the stories of the soldier veterans who once resided there.

Stepped inside the Old Man's House to be met with the history of the buildings and grounds very interesting and worth the visit...

- Tripadvisor

The exhibition, which occupies two rooms, contains a large interactive scale model of the site, based on maps dating 1700s. An AV film tells the story of the RHK and a touchscreen displays the digitised Will Book of the pensioners. There is audio and set design; costumes for both adults and children for dress up; a library archive and a large number of graphic panels.

EPIC was responsible for conceiving the Interpretive master plan and project managing its rollout across all aspects of the project including research, content creation and fit-out.

This project involved procuring the services of a range of specialist sub-contractors to fulfil the technical and multi-media elements of the exhibition design. EPIC project managed the project to completion.

Project Details:

Client: Office of Public Works

Date: October 2013 to May 2014

Location: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8

Collaborated with:
Fallover Art, Paul Tierney Models, Vermillion Design

    Services Provided

  • Visioning and project definition
  • Research and audience development
  • Interpretive master planning
  • Concept-to-exhibition design
  • Project management and budget control
  • Content writing
  • On-site coordination and management
  • Snagging to completion

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