Dublin City Council Offices

Stage One:  Sam Stephenson - 1976
Stage Two:  Scott Tallon Walker - 1994
Wood Quay and Fishamble Street, Dublin
This building is the result of nearly three decades of work.  The process began in the 1970s when the City Council attempted to erect a new building designed by the controversial Sam Stephenson who was known for his brutalist architecture.  In addition to any reservations there might have been about the building, it was the chosen site, on Wood Quay, that caused consternation since it was the location of the Viking settlement on the shores of the Liffey.  Apparently in 1978, 20,000 people marched in protest in an attempt to save the Viking site. However, following excavations carried out by the National Museum of Ireland, the building went ahead.  The plan was to erect four monumental granite clad blocks that were connected by a glass atrium.  However, after phase I was completed the project was suspended and it was never completed.

A second competition was launched in the 1980s to complete the process.  This time Scott Tallon Walker was selected to design the new building.  The Scott Tallon Walker website describes the challenged posed by the project as, " The existence of the phase 1 buildings, completed in 1986, together with the remaining archaeological artifacts on the site, made this a complex and challenging brief. A further major design issue was the view of Christ Church Cathedral, which, through past demolition of the houses on Wood Quay, had been opened up to the quays and required special recognition in any design solution proposed."  What they came up with had, "a totally different character from the original towers ... Rather than turning its back on the towers, the new building steps up towards them, and stretches out a large wing that fills the space between them. The existing towers are linked by a glazed atrium. This reduces the external mass of the existing buildings and provides a major new entrance at Christ Church."