Harbour Square is a mixed development of commercial offices , apartments and shops  situated in the heart of Dun Laoghaire, a sea side suburb of Dublin. A hospital boarders the site to the west with Local Authority Council offices to the East. The northern edge is a main public street and rail station with rear gardens along the southern side. This competition winning infill scheme defines a new urban edge and place in the town.

A new public plaza adjacent to the seafront is proposed which focuses on a listed 19th Century Harbour Building with its impressive ceremonial staircase. A lateral Square, located at the center of the site, is enclosed on two sides by six storey office buildings and on a third side by an eight storey apartment building which accommodates 140 upmarket apartments. The total gross floor area of office space is approximately 5,250m2.

Each of the office buildings benefit from either a full or oblique view of the sea and can be naturally or mechanically ventilated. The entrances to the apartments and offices are located directly off the back of the Square ensuring animation, surveillance and security at most times of the day and night. A series of shops, restaurants and a crèche, totaling 1430 Sqms in floor area, link Harbour Square to the public street edge.

Attention has been paid to the context of the site, making a permeable and enticing space rather than a walled city. The conception of the design began in the analysis of pedestrian flow through and around the site, with future development of the surrounding sites also taken into consideration. The plaza and central courtyard facilitate this journey creating a respite from the direct flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic along the adjoining street. 

The residential component of the development comprises 140 units with a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments and larger penthouses at roof level. The building is orientated so that the bedrooms of each apartment face the garden whilst living rooms, with large balcony space, have panoramic views towards the harbour and the sea beyond. There are 2 levels of basement car parking beneath most of the site with a provision for approximately 365 cars. The architectural language is contemporary throughout with natural granite stone cladding, glazed curtain walling and timber infill to the apartment buildings. A comprehensive courtyard plan has been designed for the space, incorporating a combination of quality hard landscaping, dense planting, seating, lighting and a water feature. 

Portrait of author John O'Mahony

TEXT BY: JOHN O'MAHONY

Author: John O'Mahony

  • Address Dun Laoghaire
    see map
  • Area52,505 m ²
  • Size140 Apts
  • Contractor Bennett Construction
  • Status Completed
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