ESB Head Office

ESB to abandon city centre?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Sun Dec 19, 1999 4:00 pm

ESB HQ set for Dublin suburbs

THE ESB is considering the possibility of building a new headquarters office block on the outskirts of Dublin and putting its existing Fitzwilliam Street office development, right in the heart of Dublin's commercial centre, up for sale. If it happens it will free up one of the largest development sites to become available in Dublin in a long time and is certain to attract unprecedented interest from the property professionals.
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Postby dc3 » Mon Dec 20, 1999 8:24 pm

Hope someone keeps an eye on the ESB site over the Christmas holidays, just in case someone rushes on in one of those public holidays, (so convenient for developers) to build Georgian houses without having full planning permisssion.
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ESB Head Office

Postby Fr. Jack Hacket » Fri May 12, 2000 11:59 pm

Read in the Irish times that the ESB is thinking of moving out of Fitzwilliam Street. Any suggestions as to what might be done to undo the damage done. Also has anyone heard that the Stevenson block is actually a listed building itself. Que Alanis Morrisette;' isn't it ironic'.
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Postby MG » Sun May 14, 2000 1:25 pm

surely you jest....
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Postby KevinMac » Wed May 17, 2000 2:45 pm

Demolish the bleedin thing and replace it with stylish social housing.....but that would be a hurdle for them.
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Postby PaulC » Fri Aug 31, 2001 1:18 pm

Has anyone any news on this - Are the ESB going to move from here. It would be great if they did. Of course it would be imperative that the original Georgian buildings be reinstated.
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Postby Paolo » Fri Aug 31, 2001 2:50 pm

The ESB have been thinking about moving out of the city centre for quite a while. ESB own land in Leopardstown and that is a candidate for the new head office location.

What's the point in rebuilding Georgian? It won't make up for any past mistakes and what Georgian structure would best suit the location/site/aspect? A modern office/apartment block or a hotel with a Georgian facade a la Merrion Hotel? That would certainly improve the look of the street but it's not really progressive or maybe progressive isn't suited to the area. Does anybody know what sort of restrictions would be placed on any new development, i.e. blending in, use of red brick, etc.? Directly across the road from ESB HO is another relativley recent development which tries to keep in context with the surroundings and ends up looking like something trying to keep in context with the surroundings and not contributing anything to the streetscape. Maybe Georgian facade would have been appropriate here.
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Postby GregF » Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:19 pm

That would be ideal if the ESB were to move out...I had heard that rumour before......there is plenty of vacant land in the docks ....and they could build whatever they like there too....a super hi-tech neon lit structure or whatever.....anything would be an improvement on the HQ which represents them now....another mistake by S.S.
In any way I think in this case it would be most appropriate to rebuild in a Georgian style....anything else would look too jarring in this area of the city. It has already been done in North Great Georges Street and Mountjoy Square recently to a reasonable standard. Also it would be a good exercise to re-build in such a way too....as was the case throughout Europe after the WW2 a certain ammount of historical squares, streets etc.....were reinstated. Perhaps houses could be again built ...I'd say there would be a keen demand to posses such a home to live in.
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Postby StephenC » Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:48 pm

Goodbye ESB - all is not forgiven?

Paolo - if you were to stand in front of Holles Street Hospital and look all the way down towards Fitzwilliam Square you would see why the original Georgian design should be reinstated. Surely a restoration of one single clean streetscape is the only option for this site.
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Postby Paolo » Tue Sep 04, 2001 5:04 pm

I agree with you on the view, Stephen, it's one of my favourites in Dublin. On a clear day you can see the Dublin Mts! Something along the lines of the Powerscourt Townhouse would be interesting, the way it was before the recent renovations destroyed the 'open courtyard' ambience it had.
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Postby John Callery » Mon Sep 10, 2001 10:04 am

This prime site will require a good developer along with a good architect, these days this required / desired alliance is the exception rather than the rule. Its location alone will ensure that the existing building will always be prime rental office space – so don’t expect to see reinstatement or many external changes here other than renovations to the interior (total upgrading of the HVAC / elec / IT systems etc). A betting person would not bet on a demolition man being employed on this one, as there are many bad examples of what was built in the 60s still standing and still viable (after internal upgrading) from a commercial point of view in the prime rental districts of the city.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Feb 04, 2003 11:15 am

There is a good article in the latest edition of the AAI Building Material about the original architecture competition to design the ESB HQ. It won't be online until I receive a CD of the contents in the post.
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Postby bigjoe » Thu Feb 06, 2003 11:36 am

Mrs BJ works for the ESB and she says indeed lepoardstown is a possibility but nothing definite is decided. a lot of time is been spent on getting ready for going private due to the opening of the market in 2005.

on a lighter note i was in the NCH last friday for a concert to celebrate 75 years of the ESB. the evening was hosted by none other then Marian Finucane. Now was not Ms Finucane an architectual student in the past and who protested against the building of the ESB HQ?

hmmmmmmmmmm irony. :D
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Postby StephenC » Thu Feb 06, 2003 11:53 am

Irony indeed... and there are probably many more examples ...like our current Lord Mayor who just dying to get to cut the ribbon on the Spire and get his mug in the papers in time for the local elections...
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Postby GrahamH » Thu Feb 06, 2003 7:13 pm

It makes me seeth with rage, all that needless destruction of the houses, just to satisfy the company for a measly 40 years. Its a real slap in the face to all Irish people just to waltz off out of the premises. At least some serious consideration can now be given to their reconstruction. Good riddance to the ESB, the organisation that single handedly created the biggest blow to Georgian Dublin, indeed historic Dublin as a whole.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Fri Feb 07, 2003 1:44 pm

The leopardstown plan was with the old CEO it was going to be his "mark". But he's gone, the company is being split for market opening and I think the new guy is well happy to stay where he is. An alternative plan being discussed is that they move one block North (i.e. the east side of Merrion Sq - which they also own).
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Jun 10, 2003 10:21 am

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Postby GrahamH » Wed Jun 11, 2003 8:01 pm

I must admit to rather liking the building, not it's Number 1 fan but like it.

Still NO EXCUSE!
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Postby Rory W » Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:38 am

When did it loose the step seen in the completion photo on page 2 of the article, buiding looks quite different today
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:43 am

Thats a competition entry - thats what the article is about
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Postby paul_moloney » Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:50 am

Hopefully some Georgian buildings are rebuilt, reinstating what _was_ the longest Georgian terrace in the world. I'm always amazed at such destruction; was it done out of sheer ignorance, overriding ambition, or misplaced patriotism against "British" symbols?

The tour at the renovated Number 29 Georgian building (partly funded by the ESB) is especially entertaining because of the barbs thrown by the guide against the ESB.
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Postby Rory W » Thu Jun 12, 2003 12:25 pm

Ah Brain fade...
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