April 27, 2001
Big wave heading for Dublin business park
By FRANK MCNALLY
A giant wave is expected to cross the Irish Sea tonight, arriving in Dublin Port tomorrow morning. Locals are advised to remain calm, however. If all goes to plan, nobody will even get wet.
The wave is a 116-foot-long sculpture, made in England and bound for Parkwest, the huge Ballyfermot office development.
The 20-tonne steel and carbon-fibre structure will leave Dublin Port on Sunday or Monday and continue its journey by road in what a Parkwest spokesman said will be a "logistical nightmare".
Designed by British sculptor Angela Conner, it will be the centrepiece of the business park, mounted vertically above the former Guinness reservoir. Once erect, according to its creator, it will be the tallest sculpture in Europe, if not beyond.
Ms Conner is aware that this claim may provoke arguments. Referring to the "mast" planned for Dublin's O'Connell Street - known here officially as the "Monument of Light" and popularly as "The Spike" - she says: "That's a lovely object, but it's not a sculpture."
Pat Doherty, whose Harcourt Development Group is behind Parkwest, had a more modest structure in mind when he visited Conner's London studios. However, the sculptor persuaded him that big would be beautiful. Big will be expensive too: Parkwest puts the total cost of the project, including site work, at Â£750,000.
Occupying a 200-acre site inside the M50 and boasting its own railway station, Parkwest has been a big success since its formal opening two years ago. Its completed first phase of 3 million square feet has achieved 85 per cent occupancy, including such high-profile companies as Heinz and Allianz