Lower House, opened in 1815, is the oldest building on the Grangegorman site. It was designed by Francis Johnson, the leading architect of the day whose other work includes the GPO. It is the only remaining part of the large quadrangle complex that served as the original Richmond Asylum and later became part of St. Brendan’s Hospital.
At its peak in 1896, the Richmond Asylum had 2,375 patients. While the other wings of the quadrangle were demolished in the late 1980s when there was no building protection in place, the Lower House was retained owing to its impressive frontage. The picture shows the quadrangle design of the asylum. Lower House is mostly out of shot, it's eastern edge can just be seen in the middle left of the picture.
The building has been unoccupied since the late 1980s. In the 1990s it was used in the filming of the film Michael Collins where it stood in for the GPO. As you can see from the picture below, the building is currently in a severe stare of dereliction.
TU Dublin and the Grangegorman Development Agency are now embarking on an ambitious project to restore the building and bring it into use once again. Once complete, the building will form an important part of the new University campus, offering a range of services for the staff and student body. There will be a large catering facility and coffee shop while the building will also provide Student Union areas and facilities along with a dance studio and some indoor sports areas. There will also be a number of rooms for the Conservatory of Music and Drama. It will be linked by way of a landscaped walkway to the East Quad.
The Project is expected to be finished in summer 2020 with the fully restored and operational Lower House opening alongside the Central and East Quads for the start of the Academic Year that September.