1 Grand Canal Square, Dublin

Date Built
Grand Canal Square
Grand Canal Square is a jewel in Dublin's redeveloped docklands.  The square itself was designed by the landscape architect Martha Schwartz and among its many features is a pier that extends the public space out into the basin of the Grand Canal.  On the other three sides of the square are prominent new buildings including Daniel Libeskind's Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Manuel Airies Mateus's hotel and Number 1 Grand Canal Square.  With international star architects like Libeskind and Mateus involved in two of the buildings you might conclude that the somewhat more modest 1 Grand Canal Square office building is the odd one out.  However, you might be wrong about that.

When Emma Cullinan inspected the building before writing an article in the Irish Times on June 7, 2007, she said of it that, “ ... at first glance it offers a smooth serene façade but stay awhile and you will see it dance.  That is down to the glazing that comprises a dichrioc plane squeezed between two panes of glass which plays with daylight and takes colours from it much in the way a rainbow does. ... The building changes colour before you from blue panels up top and projecting yellow find, then within seconds to purple and green.”

Beyond the impressive façade though she noted that, “There is evidence of careful design in the elegant proportions and considered elements where the columns rise up through the building the glass breaks into non-reflective towers .....

 .... and the columns hit the ground without the glass cover, bringing the square underneath the façade and into the building.”