Located in Dublin’s North Lotts, the project is for a large, elegant and functional riverside office building formed of two refined white monoliths containing 33,000m2 NIA.
Conceptually, the towers originate from a single block ‘split by tectonic forces’ which open up a central ‘crystalline’ chasm. One tower is then drawn towards the River Liffey to the south, and the other towards a new canal to the north. A further shift in the vertical plane elevates the east tower by four storeys, defining a north south connection through the site. This is counterpointed by a generously proportioned void space at the summit.
The relationship between these two elements, each wrapped in a glazed screen, provides focus towards both the city and the river, creating a civic engagement with the immediate and wider context.
Accessed from North Wall Quay, the entrance is formed by a 4-storey high colonnade. This space is enlivened by a blade of glazed lifts and reinforces the adjacent linear park which connects to the Liffey. Beyond is a flowing sequence of spaces, moving from reception area, foyer space and through to a river-front café. Basement car parking has direct lift access to the reception lobby and upper floors, including a double-height staff canteen.
Typical office floor space provides bright, efficient, adaptable space for a variety of the client’s ongoing requirements. The structural layout provides column-free floor plates and the central crystalline chasm is top lit.
At roof level is a protected soft landscape leisure garden. From here staff can enjoy an open air atmosphere and take in views over the city. Within this space is a double-height pavilion for special events and meetings, boardrooms and private dining.
In conjunction with the building’s proportion the façade presents an elegant face to the river, the city and the sea.
While exclusively glazed, the envelope of the building successfully negotiates the challenges of excessive solar heat gain. Constructed of high performance low-iron glass units with varying quantities of externally applied white ceramic fritting, the requisite U-value performance is obtained by the inclusion of vacuum insulated panels placed within the cavity zones of those opaque glass units which account for 50% of the east and west facades.
Ceramic fritted glass vertical solar shading fins are placed throughout the east and west facades, reducing the adverse solar gain by 20% whilst maintaining oblique and perpendicular views. The south façade has been designed as a two-edge-supported naturally ventilated twin skin wall working in conjunction with a motorised solar control blind linked to the BMU.
Without attracting additional cost, the design scheme will achieve a BREEAM excellent rating.