Crane count over Dublin city centre increases to at least 60

Number of cranes over capital’s skyline rises 76 per cent in a year


There were 60 construction cranes visible over the centre of Dublin on February 1st from the seventh floor of The Irish Times building on Tara Street. This is an increase of two – or 3 per cent – on December’s total of 58 and a rise of 26 (or 76 per cent) on the 34 cranes recorded on February 1st, 2016, when The Irish Times crane survey was first launched.

Construction is still concentrated on the south side where there were 52 cranes – an increase of five (or 10 per cent) on the December total – as building work is accelerating in the south docks where the concentration of cranes is most obvious.

Eight cranes were visible north of the Liffey – a drop of three (or 27 per cent) on December. This total however looks set to rise rapidly as clearance work is under way at a number of substantial sites around the new Central Bank HQ on North Wall Quay.

The construction boom has even reached the steps of the landmark Bank of Ireland branch on College Green, where a crane now stands over Edward Lovett Pearce’s masterpiece – the world’s first purpose-built two-chamber parliament house. This is to develop a €10 million cultural centre in the complex, which will open later this year with a Seamus Heaney exhibition.

To be known as the College Green Cultural and Heritage Centre, it will be accessible to the public from the Gandon-built portico on Westmoreland Street. The 600sq m (6,458sq ft) of multi-purpose exhibition space will be more like a “white-box” which can be adapted to a variety of uses determined by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Bank of Ireland is making the space available to the State for 10 years and is paying for its refurbishment and subsidising its running costs.

There has also been a noticeable increase in building activity on other sites. The number of cranes at the 1SJRQ scheme on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in the south docklands has doubled as the 10,219sq m (110,000sq ft) building is due to be completed by June 2018. Nearby, two cranes now stand over the site of what will be Grant Thornton’s new headquarters at 13-18 City Quay in Dublin 2. This eight-storey-over-basement block of 10,960sq m (118,000 sq ft) is one of the largest in the docklands in the current development cycle and the €65 million project is due for completion early next year.

With the economy expected to continue its recovery and a number of significant developments due to enter the construction phase shortly, it is likely the number of cranes on Dublin’s skyline will increase.

The Irish Times will be conducting a crane survey once a month to track construction levels in the city.