Liffey House

  • Location: South City Centre
  • Architect: Donnelly Turpin
  • Completed: 2007

The building that previously stood on this prominent city centre corner site was a poor quality speculative office block built in the 1970s. It was six stories high and set back substantially parallel to the street line. In 1997 Dublin City Council commissioned Donnelly Turpin Architects to carry out a feasibility study as to how it might best be refurbished. Cost analysis indicated that full demolition and replacement with a larger building was economically viable.

As built, the building has six floors and a penthouse of office space over a ground floor showroom and a basement level car park and plant area. Service, landlord and ancillary areas are located at the rear of the site. The office accommodation faces west with floor to ceiling glazing and views across the city.
 
The rectangular ground floor plan reinforces the orthogonal nature of the urban block. The ground floor façade aligns with those of the adjoining office and apartment developments on both Tara Street and Townsend Street and provides generous public pavement area. The bulk of the office accommodation is located overhead in a curvilinear form which sails close to the site boundary, projects to provide cover to the main entrance and inflects to register the oblique entrance to the adjoining Ashford House.
Material choices, transparency and apparent weight are clearly expressed. Service and landlord accommodation is clad in a common red brick matching that of nearby traditional structures. The office accommodation is clad in a smooth curved wall of glass and black Chinese basalt. The mass of the building appears to float over the highly transparent ground floor.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Wednesday, September 17, 2008
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