Dublin City Council Central Laboratory

  • Location: The Liberties/Coombe area
  • Architect: Murray O'Laoire
  • Completed: 2006

This mixed-use scheme was selected for development following a limited competition organised by Dublin City Council. The building comprises retail space on the ground floor, commercial office space on the first and second floors, and a fully fitted out laboratory department on the third and fourth floors accommodating the Dublin City Council (DCC) Central Laboratories. The massing of the building is divided into a "linear" block and a "cube" block with a glazed link between, open at ground floor level. This opening defines a route to the main entrance of the existing building and future atrium space.

The "cube" has a vertical emphasis that establishes this building as a landmark on Marrowbone Lane. Its bands of light and dark granite reflect similar brick banding expressed on the façade of the housing complex opposite. The angle of the "cube" is generated by the curving street line and emphasises the entrance space between the blocks. The "linear" block is treated as an elevated three-storey volume held off the ground by a double-height colonnade. The ground floor is recessed to provide a generous circulation spaces at street level.

Accommodation at ground floor level includes two retail areas (440 sq.m.) with the larger area being capable of subdivision, and two reception areas. It is possible to access all parts of the building from each reception/entrance, however the double height east reception area contains two passenger lifts and a goods lift, used primarily as the entrance to the DCC Central Laboratories Dept. on the third and fourth floors, and the west reception area will be used by the office staff occupying the first and second floors.

The first and second floors provides 1,240 sq.m. office space fitted out to include raised floors, carpets and suspended ceilings. The third and fourth floor laboratory accommodation includes a number of highly serviced areas and its location close to the roof plant area presents an economic solution. The floor layouts are intended to not only reflect the desired adjacencies but also to incorporate more abstract concerns about flexibility and staff interaction.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Thursday, September 18, 2008
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