Mock Lego cladding on facade of new Grafton Street shop blocked by council

Danish toy giant opening first Irish shop this summer

Dublin City Council has told toy giant Lego that it cannot proceed with significant parts of its plans for the facade of its first Irish store.

Earlier this year the Danish family-owned company said it would open its first Irish outlet on Grafton Street.

The new shop – previously occupied by Topman – is to feature Lego’s new retail platform, which blends physical and digital experiences in an immersive way, and also allow shoppers to create personalised products.

In March, Lego Ireland Ltd lodged plans with the council to overhaul the shopfront on 41 Grafton Street and these have now been approved. However, the planning authority has vetoed two elements of the scheme.

The council said the toy giant must omit the planned mock Lego cladding on the shopfront and also leave out two illuminated cinema boxes.

The planning report highlighted “serious reservations” about the proposed cladding. The council said that “such an intervention would not complement or harmonise with the architectural character of the existing building or the streetscape, would be visually obtrusive and would set an undesirable precedent for similar type development”.

Lightboxes

The council also found two cinema signage lightboxes “are not considered acceptable”.

It added that these illuminated new fascia panels would “add unnecessary clutter along the streetscape, would be visually obtrusive and set an undesirable precedent for this type of signage within the Grafton Street Architectural Conservation Area and the Scheme of Special Planning Control for Grafton Street”.

However, the report concluded that, overall, the council “welcomes the continued use and modernisation of the front facade of this building which will contribute positively to the area and animation of Grafton Street”.

Last year, Lego sales increased 27 per cent to 55.3 billion Danish crowns (€7.45 billion) after the group opened 165 new Lego shops, most of them in China, bringing the total number of Lego-branded shops to 832 worldwide.