THE DERELICT BUILDING that was slated for development as the headquarters of now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank could become a groundbreaking ‘vertical park’ under one architect’s proposal.
The plan would see what is currently a concrete shell on Dublin’s North Wall Quay carved into a series of terraces, with public walkways cut from the floors of the building between large trees and other plants.
The ‘Trees On The Quays‘ project is being spearheaded by Paschal Mahoney of Mahoney Architecture, who said it would transform a symbol of economic collapse into a public amenity. He told TheJournal.ie:
We felt it would be the wrong outcome if that site was to become the negative backdrop of the collapse of the Irish economy. There could be something far more creative done with it; something that would serve a purpose. It would be a national asset.
He said the ‘vertical park’ concept was entirely workable, but would be a “leading light” among such developments. “We’re actually carving out the floor plates to leave a lattice of walkways, allowing the trees to grow between them and light, air and water to filter through,” he said. “People would take a lift to the top of the building, then meander down through the trees.”
There is also a proposal for a cable car linking the development with the south quays. Mr Mahoney said the project would be entirely self-funding, not for profit, and would only require the donation of the site and a licence to develop it.
The building is currently controlled by Nama after being taken over from developer Liam Carroll. It was originally planned as a landmark headquarters for the bank, but work stopped as far back as 2009.
Also included in the project are plans for a “Meeting Room For Very Important Decisions” on top of the building, which would be constructed entirely of glass as “a highly public and transparent venue” where future issues of national importance could be decided.
Slideshow: How the Trees On The Quays might look