Newbridge Business Centre pays tribute to famous residents in Heritage Week exhibition
To mark Heritage Week, the newly renovated Newbridge Business Center is honouring its most famous resident, the pioneering Irish scientist Dame Kathleen Longsdale (1903 To 1971), with an exhibition celebrating her life and significant contribution to the science community.
The exhibition will take place in Heritage Week, at the birthplace of the ground-breaking crystallographer, Charlotte House in Newbridge town centre. The exhibition is open to the public from August 14th to 18th from 12 pm to 3 pm daily. Newbridge Business Centre welcomes visitors to learn more about a remarkable scientist and tour her former home, a historic local landmark, now transformed into a state-of-the-art business centre and co-working hub.
Breaking Barriers: The Life and Work of Kathleen Lonsdale - Pioneer, Prison Reformer & Peacemaker
Dame Kathleen Lonsdale was a trailblazing scientist who left an indelible mark on the scientific and social community. Born in 1903 in Charlotte House, Newbirdge Kathleen was the youngest among 10 children of postmaster Henry Yardley.
Kathleen made considerable contributions as a crystallographer and applied her expertise to medical solutions. In 1945 she became the first woman elected to the Royal Society of London.
Kathleen's impact extended far beyond the scientific community. During World War II, she refused to register for civil defence duties and consequently was committed to Holloway prison for one month in February 1943. Her experiences there inspired her to become an advocate of prison reform. She also actively campaigned to put an end to armed conflict.
Her work in crystallography paved the way for countless scientific discoveries.
Kathleen’s pioneering spirit lives on in Charlotte House
Kathleen’s pioneering spirit lives on in Charlotte House, which now operates as a state-of-the-art business centre. The meticulous renovation by Martin and Aine Cooper brought the heritage building into the modern era as a contemporary co-working space designed to address two modern-day problems: workplace isolation and the evolving cyber threat landscape.
Today, Newbridge Business Centre (NBC) is a cutting-edge digital hub and one of Ireland’s most cyber-secure work facilities. Calling it ‘the third workspace solution’ NBC was designed for professionals and companies that wish to bridge the gap between working from home and the office.
The owner, Martin Cooper explains, “We are proud of Kathleen Longsdale’s heritage and her connection with Newbridge Business Centre (NBC). We wanted to create a state-of-the-art facility for companies and professional people to work in a comfortable environment with top-tier cybersecurity, comms and amenities yet stay true to the building’s heritage. We worked closely with the conservation architect, Gabriel McGinley and the Architectural Conservation Officer at Kildare Council, Ruth Kidney to maintain the integrity of the building and as many original features as possible. Paying homage to Kathleen, we feature the crystal she discovered in every room. During Heritage Week, we hope people will come to learn more about her life and the history of the building.”
Gabriel McGinley MRIAI Project Architect commented,
“This is a historically and architecturally important protected structure, originally in use as a residence and Post Office building and was the birthplace of ground-breaking scientist Kathleen Lonsdale in 1903, now converted to the state-of-the-art Newbridge Business Centre. The works were carried out using best practice conservation-based methods and in close conjunction with the Conservation Department in Kildare County Council. The completed project is an example of how a conservation-based approach and careful attention to detail can bring a new lease of life to a disused historic building.”
Ruth Kidney, Architectural Conservation Officer, Kildare County Council told us,
“Charlotte House is a substantial 19th-century house located in the centre of Newbridge. The house is a protected structure, and its graceful presence at the corner of Charlotte Street and Eyre Street greatly contributes to the historic character of the town. The renowned Irish scientist, Kathleen Lonsdale, was born there in 1903, adding to its significance.
Charlotte House has been sensitively restored and repurposed with the support of Kildare County Council Heritage and Conservation Office by its current owner into an appropriate, marketable, modern use as Newbridge Business Centre. It is a fine example of town centre regeneration resulting in the revitalisation of a Protected Structure and the safeguarding of architectural heritage in Newbridge.”
The team welcome visitors to Charlotte House to learn more through a photographic exhibition, video and self-guided tour from Monday, 14th August to Friday, 18th August between 12 and 3 pm. Newbridge Business Centre is accepting enquiries from businesses and individuals that wish to explore a co-working space that marries 19th-century charm with cutting-edge amenities.
For more information visit: www.newbridgebusinesscentre.ie
Pictures above: Sinead Smyth NBC & Gabriel McGinley Fitzgibbon McGinley Architects at the unveiling of Exhibition. Image of Kathleen Lonsdale. Stephen Lonsdale (son of Kathleen) at recent visit to NBC