Dublin crane count rises to 54 in November

Major south docklands schemes have ramped up construction at Barrow Street, Hanover Quay and Sir John Rogerson’s Quay

Archive, September 2016: Justin Comiskey and Eoin Redmond, site manager for Walls Construction at the Project Wave development in Dublin’s docklands, climb one of the tallest cranes in the city as the recovery in construction continues. Drone footage: James Flood, JCF Drones


Fifty-four construction cranes were visible over the centre of Dublin on November 1st from the seventh floor of the Irish Times building on Tara Street.

This is an increase of four – or 8 per cent – on the previous month’s total of 50 and a rise of 20 (or 59 per cent) on the 34 cranes recorded on February 1st when the Irish Times Crane Survey was first launched.

Some 42 cranes were located south of the Liffey as major south docklands schemes at Barrow Street (Bolands Quay), Hanover Quay and Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (Capital Dock) ramp up construction. There are currently six cranes at work on Capital Dock alone.

Twelve cranes were located north of the Liffey – a rise of two or 20 per cent on last month – while this number could be set to rise rapidly as clearance work is proceeding at a number of substantial sites in the north docklands.

The first of these, the former “Tedcastles” site on North Wall Quay close to the Point Depot, is to accommodate a seven to nine-storey over-basement office development of 38,137sq m (410,503sq ft) in two linked blocks. One of these blocks will be accessed from Point Square and a new north-south street to run from North Wall Quay to Sheriff Street Upper.

Restoration works

Another large site, this time between the new Central Bank building and PwC offices at Spencer Dock, is also being cleared as the wraps come off restoration works on the former British Rail hotel which will front a substantial mixed-use scheme designed by architects Henry J Lyons at Spencer Place.

The listed hotel, which was last in use as offices for Irish Rail, is to be connected to a new eight-storey building to create a 168-bedroom hotel spread over 8,243sq m (88,727sq ft). Also included in this development is a nine-storey office block of 21,255sq m (228,787sq ft) and a seven-storey 15,925sq m (171,415sq ft) building with office, retail and community uses.

Next door to the former British Rail hotel is the North Wall Quay railway station which is included in plans for Dart Underground. The first of two new pedestrian areas planned to cross the Liffey is to be built in front of the station.

Both the British Railway Hotel and the North Wall railway station were significant departure points for emigrants and Irish volunteers bound for the trenches in the first World War. They were, in fact, the last buildings many set foot in on Irish soil given that their ships left from the nearby quays.

New headquarters

Meanwhile, construction work has started on the VHI’s new headquarters behind the Abbey Theatre. Designed by architects McCauley Daye O’Connell, part of the structure will be over the former Scots Presbyterian church hall on Abbey Street in Dublin 1.

The church will be the main entrance and foyer for the building. A “lightweight glass and metal exoskeleton structure” is to be situated above and around a former lecture theatre and church hall. This will integrate with the existing VHI offices to create a U-shaped building around the church of three to seven storeys.

With the economy expected to continue its recovery this year 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.