Architectural Competition for Landmark Tower / U2 Studio, Britain Quay, Dublin

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Architectural Competition for Landmark Tower / U2 Studio, Britain Quay, Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 21, 2002 12:07 pm

As part of the programme of physical renewal, Dublin Docklands Development Authority (the Contracting Authority) is progressing the refurbishment of the Liffey Campshires (Riversides). These campshires will be devoted primarily to public amenity use. However, the Contracting Authority does have one site which has development potential and the objective of this competition is to procure a building having landmark qualities and choose an architectural practice which will be awarded a commission to design the development. The architectural practice will be chosen on the basis of the submitted idea but will be expected to develop the brief with the Contracting Authority so that the actual initial concept may not necessarily be the final design solution.

Site Location

The site is shown on the Location Map Diagram 1, Site Plan Diagram 2 and the aerial photograph (see below) and is bounded by the River Liffey, Sir John Rogerson's Quay and Britain Quay in Dublin.

Planning Scheme

The proposal must comply with the Contracting Authority's Planning Scheme 2000 for Grand Canal Dock, a copy of which can be accessed from the Authority's website.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act 1997 provides that the carrying out of development in the Grand Canal Dock Area, which is certified by the Contracting Authority to be consistent with the Planning Scheme shall be exempted development for the purposes of the Planning Act. The Planning Scheme sets the Contracting Authority's objectives and policies for the Grand Canal Dock Area. Competitors are advised to read the Planning Scheme in full to appreciate the Contracting Authority's intent.

With regard to this particular site the policies and objectives are summarized as follows:

Nature and Extent of Development
A high quality urban environment responding to waterside context is required.

The building required is a slim point block above a platform of a maximum of four floors and having a maximum height of 60 metres to the main shoulder parapet height and a floor area of a minimum of 9.500 sq metres up to a maximum of 12,500 sq metres. Competitors should note the slenderness ratio set out in the Planning Scheme. The ground floor and first floor shall contain a restaurant/bar/nightclub and the floors above shall be either wholly commercial office or mixed residential and commercial offices. The two top floors must be capable of housing a recording studio for the U2 band.

Briefly, the band's space requirements include:

(a) A studio located on the top two floors of the building. The space should have good views, particularly to the south and west. The aspect should seek to maximise natural light. The recording element should be located so as not to create any blank external walls.

(b) A total floor area of 560 sq metres on the top floors excluding lifts and staircases.

(c) The top floor shall have a minimum height of 5.5 metres.

(d) Private terrace(s)/roof garden(s) to the studio.

(e) A minimum of 4 car parking spaces.

(f) The space shall be air conditioned, sound insulated and double glazed.

(g) Separate and discrete lift access to the studio from ground floor and basement or semi-basement car park. This lift will also act as a private goods lift to the studio. The point block shall be located to the northern end of the site.

Overall Design
In general terms the Contracting Authority is seeking an outstanding architectural statement on this critically located site which will act as a beacon for Dublin and for the renewal of the area.

Roads layout and parking
Vehicle access to the site will be from Britain Quay and parking should preferably be located at basement level or semi-basement level. The maximum parking standards are set out in the Planning Scheme.

Site Layout

The layout and disposition of the development will be largely determined by the confined nature of the site.

Building Lines Bulk Scale and Massing

Building lines
The predominant building lines are shown on the Site Plan, Diagram 2. The building line parallel to the mouth of the Grand Canal Dock and Dodder should be recessed 2metres at ground and first floor level to achieve an 8metre wide pedestrian amenity route along the water's edge.

Bulk, scale and massing
The bulk, scale and massing of the development is at the discretion of the competitor, subject to the conditions of the Planning Scheme and the area and height restrictions outlined above.

Open Space and Amenity

The campshire area will act as the open space provision for the development, however, private open space in the form of balconies would be desirable in any residential component.

Residential Mix

It is the Contracting Authority's objective to ensure that in the case of residential development, units will vary in both size and type with a mix that concentrates on accommodating young singles and couples, and those looking for retirement homes close to the city centre.


For the purposes of this architectural competition designers can assume that all service requirements can be met.

Compliance with Statutoru Requirements

Designers should take into account any significant requirements arising from compliance with the Building Control Act, 1990 that might affect the proposal at this stage.


1.1 Competition Promoter
The promoter is the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1 (hereinafter the Contracting Authority).

1.2 Registrar
The Secretary of the Contracting Authority will act as Registrar for this stage of the Competition.

1.3 Nature and Aim of the Competition
The Competition is a single stage competition for architectural services for the design of a mixed development at a site lying at the end of Sir John Rogerson's Quay on Britain Quay, Dublin 2.

1.4 Competition Jury
1.4.1 Jury
A nominee of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI).
A member or nominee of the U2 band
The Dublin City Architect
Two nominees of the Contracting Authority
Two nominees from the Executive of the Contracting Authority

1.4.2 In the event of any Jury member being unable to act through illness or any other cause, the Contracting Authority may appoint a suitable replacement.

1.4.3 Decision of Jury: The decision of the Jury will be binding on the Contracting Authority provided the project proceeds. The Contracting Authority reserves the right not to make an award, if in the opinion of the Jury no entry reaches the appropriate standard. The determination of such a standard will be at the sole discretion of the Jury.

1.5 Assessment
The design submissions shall be evaluated by the Jury. The criteria for the evaluation of the contest will be compliance with the briefing document including, demonstration of:

A) (i) an outstanding architectural statement.
(ii) compliance with the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Master Plan and the Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme, 2000
(iii) relationship to the surrounding environment and the quality of public and private open space,
(iv) fitness for purpose,
(v) efficiency in design and structure to permit practical and economical construction,
(vi) contribution to the social and economic regeneration of the Docklands Area on a sustainable basis,

B) the advantages of the proposal on the basis of quality, value for money and technical merit.

C) a Tax Clearance certificate or C2 certificate which will be required before the award of a contract. In the case of a non-resident, a statement from the Revenue Commissioners will be required.

Competitors should note that the criteria are not ranked in order of importance.

1.6 Eligibility
The Competition is open to all suitably qualified architects.

1.7 The Brief
1.7.1 The Competition Brief sets out the objectives and essential requirements of the Contracting Authority for achieving an outstanding architectural statement.
1.7.2 The basic technical design parameters and site information are provided in the Competition Brief and the Diagrams. This information is given for the purposes of the competition and while it is given in good faith it shall be subject to detailed research and checking in due course by the successful competitor should the project proceed.

1.8 Submissions
1.8.1 Competitors are required to submit the following information:

Site Plan 1:1000
Basement Plan (if any) 1:500
Ground Floor Plan 1:250
First Floor Plan 1:250
Typical Floor Plan of the platform element 1:500
Typical Floor Plan of the tower element 1:500
Section taken on a north/south axis 1:500
Sketch perspectives taken from the ground plane at Point A and Point B on the Views Map Diagram 3.
No further information shall be contained in the submitted drawings. The information shall be presented on two A1 sheets, one of which shall contain the perspectives and the other the remaining drawing information.

1.8.2 Each competitor must submit a short written report (not exceeding 1 page) to describe the competitors' approach to the scheme. One copy of this report in A4 size shall be submitted. Sketches, plans or other graphic material may not be used in the report. The report shall be accompanied by a non-refundable fee of €100 (one hundred euro) paid by cash, cheque drawn on an Irish bank or an International Money Order. The fee for any such Order shall have been paid by the competitor.

1.8.3 Each competitor must submit a Schedule of Areas and Accommodation. One copy of this schedule is required.

1.8.4 Each competitor must submit a completed official Competition Entry Form.

1.8.5 Notes on Submissions
a) Overlays should not be used on the drawings
b) Material additional to the information specified in 1.8.1 - 1.8.3 above, if submitted will not be shown to the Jury.
c) Drawings shall be mounted on card or lightweight boards. Material must be properly packaged by the competitors to guard against damage in transit. Insurance of submissions if deemed necessary is the responsibility of the competitors. Entries will not be returned to the competitors so it is advisable to retain copies of the entries submitted. Such copies may be important in the event of loss or damage to any entry.
d) There is no restriction on the drawing medium to be used, but competitors are advised that protective coatings should be used for impermanent media.
e) Framed or glazed drawings may not be submitted.
f) No entry shall bear any identity such as a name, mark or motto etc. Entries deemed to breach this requirement will be excluded from the competition.
g) The official Competition Entry Form which will serve as a means of identification, shall be submitted in a sealed separate envelope marked "Architectural Concept Competition for a Landmark Tower/U2 Studio Entry Form".
h) Competitors may list on the official Competition Entry Form the names of any collaborators or consultants whose participation they may wish to acknowledge in any publicity.
i) The submission package should only include the information specified for the appropriate stage together with the official Competition Entry Form.
j) Submissions should be sent (preferably by Registered Post) or delivered by hand to:
The Registrar Architectural Concept Competition For a Landmark Tower/U2 Studio at Grand Canal Dock
Dublin Docklands Development Authority
Custom House Quay
Dublin 1 Ireland
k) The Registrar will be responsible for opening the package and will place a number on each of the enclosed documents and the same number in the envelope containing the official Competition Entry Form.
l) All entries will be acknowledged only following the decision of the Jury.

1.9 Disqualification
1.9.1 Entries shall be excluded from the competition if:
a) they are received after the time and the closing date named in these regulations:
b) a participant discloses his/her identity to, or attempts to influence in any way the decision of the Jury.
c) Any of the conditions or regulations are breached or disregarded.
d) The entry fee of €100 (one hundred euro) is not received.

1.9.2 It shall be a function of the Registrar to decide on disqualification and exclusion from the competition. His decision in these matters is final and no correspondence will be entered into in this regard except to notify the entrant of the decision to disqualify.

1.10 Competitors Questions
1.10.1 (i) Competitors may submit questions to the Registrar up to 17 January 2003. After that date, no further questions will be answered. All queries must be in writing by letter or by fax. An explanatory memorandum, based on the relevant questions submitted will be circulated directly to those parties who submitted questions and published on the Contracting Authority's website not later than 31 January 2003 before the closing date and will form part of the regulations and the competition brief.
(ii) The Registrar reserves the right to refuse to answer any queries which he considers not relevant to the Competition.

1.10.2 Questions should be addressed and sent by letter, fax or email to:
The Registrar Architectural Concept Competition for a Landmark Tower/U2 Studio at Grand Canal Dock Dublin Docklands Development Authority
Custom House Quay Dublin 1, Ireland
Fax No: +353 1 818 3399

1.11 Timetable
1.11.1 Issue of Briefing and other Documentation on the Contracting Authority's website on date of publication of EU Notice.

Receipt of Competitors' Questions 17th January 2003

Issue of Response to Questions 31st January 2003

Closing Date 28th February 2003

1.11.2 All submissions must be received by or before 12.00 noon on the closing date.

1.12 Site Visits
The location of the site is shown on the Local Map Diagram 1 and is open and accessible from the public road.

1.13 Payments
1.13.1 A prize of €12,000 will be awarded to the winner and in the event of a project proceeding, this will form part of the fee.

1.14 Award of Commission
1.14.1 a) If the project proceeds, the winning participant, will be invited to execute a commission for architectural services to Planning Permission stage (Section 25 Certificate Dublin Dockland Development Authority Act, 1997) in accordance with terms and conditions to be agreed with the Contracting Authority.
b) The award of the Commission for Professional Services will be contingent upon the project proceeding. The award of the commission will also be contingent upon the successful competitor satisfying the Promoters that he can complete the required services in line with an agreed programme. Should the successful competitor not have the necessary resources to provide the required service, the Contracting Authority reserves the right to require him to supplement his resources as a condition of the award of the Contract.
c) A Tax Clearance Certificate or Statement from the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland, as appropriate must be produced.
d) The person commissioned will be required to provide all relevant professional services for the design of the development and coordination of other consultants.
e) The person commissioned will also be required to act as Project Supervisor (Design Stage) pursuant to The Health and Safety of Welfare at Work (Contractors) Regulations 1995 or any other statutory provisions in force at the time and will also be required to have Professional Indemnity insurance cover in place and provide collateral warranties normal in the Irish market.
f) Competitors should note that the Competition is for architectural services and that the design of the project will be taken forward by means of a more detailed brief and through dialogue and an interactive relationship between relevant parties in order to realise the final project.
g) Although the Competition is single stage in nature, the promoters reserve the right to seek clarification from a number of competitors should the Jury consider this advisable.
h) In the event of the Contracting Authority not proceeding with the project within eighteen months of the announcement of the winner, the premium paid to the winning competitor shall be deemed to be the full and final payment to which the winning competitor is entitled.

1.14.2 If the project proceeds, all other members of the Design Team for the Project will be selected after consultation with the winner and appointed separately by the Contracting Authority in accordance with EU and public procurement policy to execute a commission for services to Planning Permission Stage.

1.15 Project Procurement
The Development is likely to be procured on a partnership basis between a private developer and the Contracting Authority. The Contracting Authority intends to use the successful design as part of the conditions in the development agreement. The architects will be (subject to the successful selection of a development partner) novated to perform the remaining appropriate architectural services to completion stage and will be paid the remainder of the fee by the successful development partner.

1.16 Damage to Submissions
The Contracting Authority will exercise reasonable care but will not be responsible for loss or damage to submissions which may occur either in transit or during exhibition, storage or packing.

1.17 Persons Ineligible
No member of the Contracting Authority's staff or the Jury or any partner, associate or employee of the latter shall be eligible either to compete or to assist any competitor.

1.18 Copyright and Publicity
The right to exhibit all competition entries for the purposes of publicity rests solely with the Contracting Authority. The copyright for all other purposes rests with the competitors.

1.19 Disputes
1.19.1 Whilst every care has been taken in preparing the Brief for the Competition, no undertaking is given as to the accuracy of the statements contained therein or the technical information provided.
1.19.2 With the exception of matters provided for in 1.9 above, in the event of a dispute arising out of or in connection with the competition, the matters shall be dealt with by a mutually acceptable arbitrator. Should the parties fail to agree on the selection of an arbitrator, such selection and appointment shall be made by the President of the RIAI. Every or any such reference shall be deemed to be a submission to arbitration within the meaning of the Arbitration Acts 1954 and 1980 or any Act amending them.
1.19.3 The terms of this document shall be interpreted and construed in accordance with the laws of Ireland.

1.20 Acceptance of Competition Regulations
The completion and submission of the official Competition Entry Form is an acceptance by the competitor of all rules and regulations of the competition and an acceptance by the competitor of any instructions which may be issued by the Registrar in relation to the conduct of the competition.

1.21 Competition Languages
The competition language is English or Irish.

Click on the following to download a PDF:

Aerial photograph of area

Diagram 1

Diagram 2

Diagram 3

Entry Form
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Paul Clerkin
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