Offices for the Department of Finance

Dublin / Ireland / 2009

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Brief
The Commissioners of Public Works commissioned this building to provide office accommodation for the Department of Finance to link into the adjacent Government Buildings complex. The Project incorporated the restoration of The Billets, a 1912 Protected Structure. The architectural challenge for The Billets – a long, two-storey ‘mews’ type building - was to incorporate new accommodation, within the character of the existing spaces.


City
As in the knight’s move in chess, there is a diagonal relationship between large-scale urban space of St.Stephen’s Green and the ‘secret garden’ the Huguenot Cemetery. This allows the new building to relate to both green spaces and to its immediate 18th century Georgian streetscape.



Threshold
The street line is maintained by a handcrafted bronze railing and gate and by the three metre cantilever of the grand staircase space held over a sunken area. This sunken area is used to bring light to the lower ground level and to allow the formation of the entrance threshold, layering security.


Screen
100mm thick planks of sanded Ballinasloe limestone are crafted to form deep stone screen walls. Windows integrate grilled ‘nostrils’ which breath in natural air, which in turn is distributed into the office spaces. The air is then drawn into the six chimneys, which are placed centrally in each floor level. These chimneys continue the tradition of the roofscape and skyline of Dublin. The main staircase, positioned at the front of the building, acts as a screen to the south sun and as an acoustic buffer to city traffic. Circulation to the offices is positioned at the perimeter of the building, with offices placed away from the facades. This building is unusual in a city, in that it has windows on four sides, benefiting from the varying seasonal path of the Irish sun. Each window frames a panoramic view out over Dublin, providing a type of democracy of views of the city.


PROJECT INFO
Client The Commissioners of Public Works
Contractor John Paul Construction
Date 2009
Location Dublin, Ireland


COLLABORATORS
Structure and Civils Barrett Mahony Consulting Engineers
M&E The Office of Public Works
Quantity Surveyor Anthony Leonard and Associates


Photography DG - Denis Gilbert

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    BriefThe Commissioners of Public Works commissioned this building to provide office accommodation for the Department of Finance to link into the adjacent Government Buildings complex. The Project incorporated the restoration of The Billets, a 1912 Protected Structure. The architectural challenge for The Billets – a long, two-storey ‘mews’ type building - was to incorporate new accommodation, within the character of the existing spaces. CityAs in the knight’s move in...

    Project details
    • Year 2009
    • Work finished in 2009
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Government and institutional buildings
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