herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bell tolls for liberty Hall as new tower gets the green light

DUBLIN'S first ever skyscraper, Liberty Hall, could be razed to the ground after plans for the site were given the green light.

Dublin City Council has given the Siptu union the go-ahead to demolish the historic building and build a 22-storey building in its place.

The plans include a public skydeck on the top floor which would be accessible by a glass fronted lift.

But it is expected there will be objections to the construction on the quays by those who believe that the present building, which dates from 1965, is a symbol of the emergence of modern Ireland.







HIGHER

And there is also an issue of height as the tower would be 35pc higher than the current Liberty Hall.

Siptu submitted a second proposal to Dublin City Council in December last year after withdrawing the original plans.

Dermot Desmond, An Taisce and the Irish Georgian Society Dublin were among the dozens of objectors to the submission in 2010.

This proposal is one storey higher than the original plans, and Tony Walsh, head of infrastructures at Siptu, said the extra floor was only an attempt to get back the floor space they had lost by slimming down the building's size.

Dublin City Council gave the green light for the development last night. It also includes a heritage centre illustrating Siptu's history, a conference centre and theatre with 17 storeys of offices.

Siptu's general secretary Joe O'Flynn welcomed the decision and said they would be considering the 19 attached conditions over the coming days.

The council wants to see the proportions of the four-storey base to be changed to be "more cognisant of the existing streetscape" as well as a further alignment of the northside of the building, particularly at the upper levels.

Siptu pledged that the new Liberty Hall, designed by the architects behind Croke Park, Gilroy McMahon Architects, would have a "wow factor" in the capital.

The architect Des McMahon said that the skydeck, which would have panoramic views over the city and Dublin Bay, was likely to attract 250,000 visitors annually, generating significant revenue for Siptu.

The union has been speaking about demolishing the building since 2006, saying it was in serious need of upgrading.

The skyscraper was built in the Sixties on a site which had strong historic links to the 1916 Rising and the 1913 Lockout.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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