April 2, 2009

U2 Tower put on hold

From The Herald.ie

Property slump means no U2 tower on the horizon

By Cormac Murphy
Thursday April 02 2009

Dublins landmark U2 tower is farther away than ever from being built following the decline in the property market.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) said in October it had suspended "negotiations regarding the development for up to 12 months".

This was "to allow for an improvement in the current uncertainty surrounding the property and financial markets".

However, with no improvement in sight, the project looks certain to be mothballed for a far longer spell once the 12-month hiatus is up.

The DDDA and Geranger consortium had made "significant progress" with the ambitious €200m scheme over the best part of a year.

Geranger was selected in 2007 as the provisional preferred bidder to design, construct and finance the tower.

The consortium beat off competition from Sean Dunne's Mountbrook Homes to be chosen to develop the site.

Geranger, made up of Ballymore Properties, developer Paddy McKillen and the members of U2, planned to build a skyscraper soaring 60m higher than the Spire.

The scheme contains a design for an egg-shaped recording studio suspended beneath a battery of wind turbines and a huge solar panel. This "energy centre" would raise the overall height from 130m to 180m.

Designed by Foster & Partners, the Geranger project was to include a public viewing platform offering panoramic views over the city and Dublin Bay.

It would be located just below U2's "pod" studio, which would be separated from the structure for acoustic reasons.

Norman Foster's practice is best known for the Swiss Re or 'Gherkin' tower in the city of London.

DDDA director of architecture John McLaughlin said that the Foster scheme "had the edge because its public spaces were really well handled" and it provided a gateway to a bridge over the Dodder where it joins the Liffey.

In addition to the tower, largely to comprise luxury apartments, the scheme includes plans for a five-star hotel in a flanking building, and a block of 34 social and affordable apartments.


- Cormac Murphy

No comments:

Post a Comment