Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Historical
Institute for Advanced Studies
In Use As
1785 - 1795
Attached three-bay four-storey former house over basement, built c. 1790 apparently as one in terrace of seventeen, having bow to two eastern bays of rear, and two-storey four-bay addition to third bay with three-storey section to north end. Now in use as offices. Pitched slate roof to front, hipped to west end, behind Flemish bond brown brick parapet with granite coping, and two hipped roofs to rear perpendicular to street, larger over bow. Shouldered rendered chimneystacks to east, shared with No. 64, having clay pots. Concealed rainwater goods. Flemish bond brown brick walls on moulded granite plinth over exposed stone walling to basement at front and rendered to rear. Square-headed window openings, diminishing in height to upper floors, with painted rendered reveals, soldier arches and painted granite sills; exposed granite block-and-start surrounds and wrought-iron grilles to basement; and round-headed stairs window to rear elevation of western bay. Timber sliding sash windows, nine-over-six pane to first floor, three-over-three pane to top floor and six-over-six pane elsewhere, to front and rear elevations. Round-headed door opening with paired Ionic columns flanking decorative geometric leaded sidelights, fluted frieze and cornice, elaborate ornate cobweb fanlight, cavetto-moulded architrave and eleven-panel timber door with brass furniture. Granite platform with cast-iron boot-scrapes and five bull-nosed granite steps. Wrought-iron railings to basement area with decorative cast-iron posts on moulded granite plinth. Replacement timber glazed door accesses basement interior. Casey (2005) notes that interior has good ceilings. Wall plaque reads 'Erwin Schrodinger Creator of Wave Mechanics worked here 1940-1956.' carparking to rear.
No. 65 Merrion Square is an elegant and well-proportioned house that makes a strong contribution to the early streetscape character of the square. The relatively modest façade is enlivened by its fine Ionic doorcase and fanlight, while the metalwork to its railings provides a significant feature of interest. Casey (2005) notes that the interior has good plasterwork and other detailing. A plaque notes its most famous occupant, Edwin Schrodinger (1887-1961), the Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist who formulated the Wave Equation and is also known for the 'Schrodinger's Cat' thought experiment. He had been invited to Ireland in 1940 by Éamon de Valera, in order to establish an Institute for Advanced Studies and he continued to work at No. 65, the original headquarters of the Institute (along with No. 64), until 1956. The south side of Merrion Square was initially set out in large plots of twelve leases; plots were leased consecutively from east to west until the row was complete in 1791.