A Â£250m blueprint for a landmark Dublin city centre site has been designed by the Chinese-born architect responsible for the world famous glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris. Ming Pei, of Pei, Cobb, Free & Partners, is understood to have drawn up one of the most imaginative designs ever conceived for Dublin for a key site at Pearse St/Westland Row in Dublin 2.
It is believed that the innovative new project will be undertaken on a joint venture basis involving Trinity College Dublin and CIE together with McNamara Builders. No comment was available from the CIE property department yesterday. However, property sources indicate that the five-acre site to the rear of Pearse St railway station has been earmarked for a major development.
The scheme is expected to link to TCD opposite via an underground walkway below Westland Row and to feature a dramatically designed glass prism.
The overall project for which a planning application is believed imminent will be a mixed use development.
This will comprise a new train hall with two entrances from Pearse St and the east side of the site, plus a multi-storey ``park and ride'' facility.
Around 300,000 sq ft of office accommodation is on the cards as well as some retail space servicing the station. The scheme is also planned to include a significant social/affordable housing element.
A new ``hi-tech'' research and development facility for TCD is also envisaged and a 40,000 sq ft sports centre, including a 25-metre swimming pool. The promoters of this project are understood to have interviewed three international firms of architects to design the scheme.
These were Foster & Partners, London-based architects of the ``new'' Reichstag in Berlin; Richard Meir & Partners, New York, who designed the Barcelona Museum and the Getty Centre, Lose Angeles; and Pei, Cobb, Free who were chosen after an intensive interview and assessment.
The latter successful international firm is headed by the celebrated Ming Pei. Born in China in 1917, Pei is justly celebrated by his sophisticated glass-class buildings and geometric designs.