The glazed cube is a theme carried throughout the scheme.
The railed frontage to York Street carries through the concept from precedent, and is well detailed.
The new address plaques being erected on the piers are particularly elegant and subtly back-lit. The ground floor elevation behind the railings however is not as successful: overly harsh and clinical, it has a budget render appearance and poorly detailed window sills that do not do justice to the upper floors. Also picking up on detail, my pet hate of ignorant fenestration is by no means limited to pre-1900 - this is simply ugly stuff up here.
Depending so heavily on framed glazing and opting for a factory engineered solution inevitably produces such results. The new St. Luke's Avenue building by Anthiny Reddy Associates is another recent high-profile building so compromised by cumbersome fenestration that has had little or no design input saving the choice of material and its colour. A real shame in this case too.
The as yet unfinished basement well, most of which is deeper than this and provides ventilation to basement storage and/or car parking. Lovely curved detail.
The rear courtyard makes elegant and fitting use of brick which draws strong references to the history of the site and generates a suitably welcoming domestic atmosphere. The elevation to Upper Mercer Street features very well designed animating commercial/retail units, as does the main corner frontage.
The scheme will make use of five gas-powered district heating systems, each serving approximately 13 apartments with a central condensing gas boiler. Domestic hot water will be provided by five solar thermal panels with back up from highly efficient gas boilers at peak load. Because of the volume of gas to be consumed, it can be purchased at commercial rates, further lowering costs, while the efficiency of the scheme as a whole means each unit will consume half that of a typical apartment. A water management system has also been incorporated.
Overall an average/good scheme - if it has an attractive face it has to be to York Street - and seemingly more informed by environmental credentials than architectural swagger. O'Donnell & Twomey's new Cork Street social housing is a heart-warming delight by comparison. This leaves me a little cold.
(Incidentally an excellent series of giant paper maps were recently erected between the bays of the ground floor showing the progression of development on the site from the earliest of times to the present day. It was a great idea, and a shame it came down so quickly. We need more of this type of thing from the public sector)
Next door the site DCC sold to the Royal College of Surgeons is under extreme excavation. If I recall they applied for a four storey basement, and is surely one of the deepest excavations ever conducted in Dublin. It's an incredible drop on location.
Difficult to make out if this is Calp bedrock or in fact a former quarry site.