1994 – Dublin City Council, Wood Quay, Dublin

Architect: Scott Tallon Walker



This development was the final part of a controversial project lasting over twenty years. The site at Wood Quay had been earmarked as a site for the headquarters of Dublin Corporation since the 1950s. Many schemes had already been proposed including a design by Sam Stephenson chosen when a competition was held in 1968. Originally the intention was to consist of four monumental granite clad blocks linked by a glass atrium. The two blocks at the rear of the site were to be taller allowing the building to descend towards the river. However after construction began, the remains of the Viking city were found preserved beneath the site as well as a long section of the medieval city walls. This was to be the most important find on the viking beginnings of Dublin, and was one of the most important viking sites anywhere in Europe.

After a period of some years, court cases, site invasions, excavations of the site and much publicity, the Corporation finally began to built the complex. Their nerve did not hold and after phase I was completed, the remainder of the project was put on hold – never to be completed. The ground around the two blocks were landscaped and the remains of the city wall piled up in a basement.

In the late 1980s the corporation held another competition to finish the site and to place a building along the quay completing the streetscape. This time the competition was won by Scott Tallon Walker and was completed in 1994. They also added the tall atrium between the two Stephenson blocks. In the original competition Michael Scott had been a runner up with a scaled down version of the United Nations building in New York complete with plaza, podium and 14 story glass sided block.