Grand Canal Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Manuel Aires Mateus
Date Built
Completed 2010
Grand Canal Square, Dublin
This building adjacent to Daniel Libeskind's Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Grand Canal Square, in Dublin's Docklands, was unoccupied when I photographed it in May of 2012.  It was intended to be a major feature of the Docklands redevelopment project that the Sunday Times said would, "bring the champagne fizz back into architecture in Dublin ".  It was to be a luxury hotel but it seems to have been a victim of the financial downturn that hit the Irish economy and stifled its booming real estate business.

The Grand Canal Hotel building was designed by the highly regarded Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus although oddly the building isn't listed on his website among his projects.  An article in the Irish Times on January 25, 2012 outlined some the history of the building's ownership.  Under the headline, "Grand Canal hotel sold to Swiss group" it adds that, "The new owners of the Grand Canal Square Hotel are believed to have links with the W Hotels chain which specialises in luxury boutique hotel. ... KPMG receivers have refused to confirm the sale of the 169-bedroom hotel and the adjoining 84 apartments. The selling price is likely to be in the region of €30 million – a figure that falls well short of the debts on the development which are understood to be about €90 million."