The Convention Centre, Dublin, Ireland

Kevin Roche
Date Built
Completed 2010
North Wall Quay, Dublin
The Dublin Convention Centre sits beside the Liffey on land that was once a abandoned railway yard.  The building contains a 2,000-seat auditorium, two 450-seat multi-media halls, exhibition spaces, conference banqueting halls, meeting rooms, and lecture areas.  The architect's website says of it that, "It is designed to attract both international and national conference/exhibition markets. Materials, systems, construction techniques, and maintenance procedures have been selected to provide the most sustainable building possible. ... The brief and site require a vertical stacking arrangement. The lobby and circulation foyers are enclosed by a glass atrium which will immediately identify the Centre to visitors. Stairs, escalators, and lifts will create an exciting processional moving up through the atrium, enhancing interaction between delegates while providing panoramic views of the city and mountains to south. The foyers will support a variety of activities beyond circulation: event registration areas, breakout/discussion spaces, and food/bar service." 

The Docklands Authority who commissioned the building describe it as, " ... a stunning glass fronted atrium running the full height of the building - giving visitors panoramic views of the River Liffey, Dublin city centre and the Wicklow mountains. This tilted glass cylinder - 54 meters high and 39 meters in diameter - intersects the granite wall of the south facade, creating a partial parabola. The glass cylinder opens up to the activities inside and makes for a highly visible entrance."

It has been described as the World's first carbon-neutral convention centre and it is this aspect of it that attracted the attention of Popular Science.  In an article published on the website they comment on the building's, " ... energy recovering ventilation system, including a thermal wheel heat recovery system which actually traps radiating heat from guests, as well as water vapor in the air, for use in heating and cooling later. It's got a massive ice storage unit, which it turns out is a much more green method of cooling the air down than air conditioning."  They add that,  " ... all of this is regulated by an integrated building automated system, which continually monitors temperature, pressure, and other environmental factors and adjusts its efforts in real-time."