A new Dublin landmark breaks down barriers
Architects Geoffrey Reid Associates has won an open international competition for a new headquarters building in Dublin for the recently formed Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (AHGI).
The AHGI's remit is to protect Irish heritage and culture while promoting Ireland as one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and a centre of excellence in IT.
The competition administered by the Office of Public Works in Dublin was explicit in the brief for a design that 'reflects a self image of a modern outward looking Ireland which, though proclaiming pride in its own culture and artistic heritage, confidently asserts itself internationally, as an integral part of European political, social and cultural development.'
This new 15,000 sqm development consists of offices and public facilities such as an exhibition hall, library, a 250 seat auditorium, restaurant and a sunken garden.
The building is planned around two key elements. The first is the auditorium roof conceived as a grass covered man-made hill. The brow of the new hill hovering just above tree level offers Dubliners and tourists a viewing platform for panoramic views across the city over Phoenix Park toward the mountains.
The second key element is a new public pedestrian route, which separates public facilities and private office areas. The office areas are expressed as a series of transparent fingers separated by protected courtyard gardens, affording views of the park and the historic Ministry of Defence building by James Gandon.