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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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'Dublin's ugliest building' is going to be knocked down and turned into this

Both Hawkins House and Apollo House are coming down.

PastedImage-37957 The proposed new buildings viewed from across the river at Eden Quay. Source: opw.ie

PLANS HAVE BEEN submitted to demolish two large office buildings in the centre of Dublin and replace them with an “environmentally sustainable new office quarter”.

Hawkins House and Apollo House on the corner of Tara Street and Poolbeg Street will be knocked down and replaced with newer office buildings that the OPW says will allow for a public plaza at the centre of the block.

PastedImage-93452 The propsed view on Hawkins Street with the Luas Cross City service in operation. Source: OPW.ie

The plans propose opening up a pedestrian route from Tara Street to College Green. At present, no such route exists and pedestrians are forced to walk around the buildings.

The Hawkins House building currently houses the head office of Department of Health and is often described as ‘Dublin’s ugliest building‘. It dates from 1962 and is located on the site of the former Theatre Royal.

The building is currently 11 storeys tall with the redevelopment seeing it reduced to a maximum of 10 storeys.

PastedImage-37028 The planned public plaza from the inside looking towards Poolbeg Street. Source: OPW.ie

It’s planned that there’ll space for a café/restaurant on the ground floor and a public space with some greenery at the boundary near the former Screen Cinema.

Apollo House was previously used by the Department of Social Protection who vacated it last year. Its redevelopment will see it turned into a office building ranging in height from between five and 12 storeys with ground floor space for both retail and food outlets.

PastedImage-55813 The two buildings side-by-side on Poolbeg Street. Source: OPW.ie

Both buildings will have some underground parking and will provide cycle access with showering and toilet facilities for workers in the building.

Speaking today as the plans were launched, Minister of State for the OPW Seán Canney said that this major plan is a big chance for the city.

“This development represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new vibrant commercial and government office quarter in the city of Dublin,” he said

2838257504_3bae258d40_b A view of the current Hawkins House building. Source: Flickr/WilliamMurphy

It is clear that Hawkins House is now obsolete and no longer meets the demand for modern flexible workspace. The development of this site will provide up to 60% more office space, will offer significant savings in running costs and will facilitate my office to reach sustainability targets and free up older leased buildings throughout the city.

PastedImage-16264 The Apollo House building will be 12 storeys tall. Source: OPW.ie

The plan is approved by Nama who and the receivers appointed to the property. Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh described it as “an exciting project” that is,

consistent with the receivers’ aim to maximise the return and to deliver much-needed high-quality commercial space.

Lead architects in the design team are Dublin-based architecture firm Henry J. Lyons with Mola Architecture designing the public space.

Read: An empire torn in two – the dramatic story of Dublin’s disappearing Screen Cinema >

Read: One of the ‘Big Four’ firms is hiring for €50k jobs across five Irish cities >

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Rónán Duffy

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