herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Inside revamped €2m Clontarf sea baths

How the revamped interior will look
How the revamped interior will look

The historic but derelict Clontarf baths is being given a €2m facelift, which will begin later this month.

Irish-owned company, Serendipity By Design, which is based in Dubai, has been awarded the design contract for the redevelopment.

The works will include a cafe, bar, restaurant and a complete renovation of the baths and changing facilities.

The open-air pool will be at sea temperature, but there will be water heaters to keep it attractive for swimmers throughout the winter months.

Seawater from Dublin Bay will be used and there will be a filtration system to keep it clean.

While it was originally expected to open in September, delays in the project have meant it won't be completed until the end of this year.

Eyesore

Clontarf baths has existed since the 1860s and was once famed for holding regular swimming and waterpolo competitions run by Clontarf Swimming Club.

The baths closed more than 20 years ago and had degenerated into an eyesore.

Clontarf Baths and Assembly Rooms Ltd, owned by directors David and Mary Cullen, was granted planning permission in 2012 to restore the seawater baths and add a restaurant and cafe bar.

The company was also recently granted a seven-day drinks licence.

Mr Cullen, who has owned the baths for more than 25 years, said they wanted to bring the place back to its former glory.

"We anticipate a fantastic mix of people from the local area and beyond," he said.

"We'll be providing a place for family gatherings, business lunches, evening dinner and cocktail drinkers.

"We chose Serendipity By Design because it is an Irish firm and has its own unique vision. We want to make the location a focal point again."

The Clontarf Residents' Association welcomed the announcement following previous planning concerns.

"While we are aware that a number of residents still have grave concerns about the plan, we believe that if it does proceed, it will have benefits for the Clontarf and the promenade," the association said in a statement.

"Most particularly, it will result in the elimination of a derelict site that was increasingly becoming an eyesore and a risk.

The Clontarf project is a first in Ireland for Serendipity By Design, which plans to open an office in Dublin.

The company has also worked on several landmark projects in Dubai, including the Burj Al Arab hotel.

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