I completely agree Cathal! I made the same point over on Skyscrapercity. It it blatantly obvious that having gotten permission for a 15 storey at Montevetro, Treasury are taking the easy option and proposing 13 floors for this development to try to fly under the radar. However, I don't really blame them, I would lay this at the door of our planning authorities and their rediculous attitude to high-rise.
This situation is exactly the same situation as all the 32 storey buildings proposed during the boom. The architects and developers know that the planners tend to become fixated on a certain height, for years it was Liberty Halls 60 metres, as a result they propose everything at that height to get the maximum out of development space.
All that has happened is that 12-15 stories is the new accepted scale for Grand Canal dock. Consequently, instead of the usual City Centre 6-7 storey we will have a shapeless mass of 12-15 storey buildings....simply a higher expression of Dublins parapet uniformity! Afterall, remember that the Montevetro we see today is a pale imitation in scale and design to the original proposals. The same fate is befalling Aqua.
For that reason, I would rather Aqua be either 3 floors or 23 rather then 13 at the risk of creating a drab backdrop to the basin!