This mixed use development on a 1.25 hectare brownfield site in the Grand Canal Docks area of Dublin city centre was commissioned, following a design competition, by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA), a State body charged with docklands regeneration. The realised design, guided by the principles set down in the Docklands Masterplan, creates two new city blocks and forms the living edges to five new city streets. The European scale courtyard buildings rise in height from four storeys to eight storeys with architecture that seeks to mediate between the fine grained domestic scale of neighbouring areas and the grander industrial scale of the Canal Harbour.
In addition to 292 Private and “Social and Affordable” apartments, the development includes a crèche, commercial offices, restaurants and retail units which overlook the waters of the Grand Canal Basin to the south and the river Liffey to the north. 221 car spaces are also provided in a naturally vented undercroft garage. A key objective of the DDDA was to integrate the social housing seamlessly within a predominantly private scheme.
The social housing residents enjoy the same benefits as the private housing residents, including own door access to streets, similar construction, accommodation and finishes standards and unrestricted use of the communal gardens and play areas.
Family houses are located at ground and first floor plinth level with street frontages and private own door access. These units are provided with private rear patio areas which open directly onto shared garden courtyard spaces. There is a rich mix of apartment layouts with 30 different unit types woven into the fabric of the project. Typical apartments ranging from 1 bedroom single person homes to large 3 bedroom penthouses are located at the upper floors of the buildings, where they are accessed from central day lit hallways. The majority of dwellings are duel aspect and all units are provided with generous balconies and/or winter gardens.
Modern methods of construction were employed on all aspects of construction from precast loadbearing concrete panelling and framing to pod bathrooms and kitchens throughout.