Sunlight Chambers, one of Dublin's most unusual buildings has also been described as "one of the most passed-by buildings in Dublin," despite its prominent location on the Liffey River back-to-back to Temple Bar and despite its unusual decor.
And, while often passed by, it was not a mystery to GarryRF, George G and Professor Abe, who recognized it.
And it has an unusual history to match its polychrome friezes. Resembling an Italian palazzo, it was actually built in 1902 as a local office for Lever Brothers, then a British soap company. The building's name comes from its most-popular soap product of the time.
The decorative elements (the building is quite plain inside) are mostly glazed ceramic, commissioned from sculptor and potter Conrad Dressler. Casual observers usually assume they show classical themes, but a close look reveals that the subject is actually hygiene and soap. The panels are full of people laundering clothes, making and delivering laundry products and the like.
Definitely worth a stop-and-look; it's at Parliament Street, at the foot of the Grattan Bridge. Across the bridge, Parliament becomes Capel Street, with lots of interesting food choices.