Hardwicke and Montague Houses, Hatch Street-Adelaide Road - Burke-Kennedy Doyle

 

An exceptionally substantial site running from Hatch Street to Adelaide Road in central Dublin allowed developers Hardwicke Limited to produce a larger-than-usual office building for this part of the city. Architect Martin Jones of Burke-Kennedy Doyle, who has worked extensively with Hardwicke at the IFSC, came up with a structure of more than 89,000 sq ft which, had a single occupant been found, could have been interlinked. Instead, the block has been divided in two (around 43,900 and 45,150 sq ft respectively) with a distinctive facade on each street.

According to Mr Jones, Montague House, the Adelaide Road building, is intended to evoke not the stylistic muddle of blocks to its right, but the large, late 19th century stucco-fronted houses to the left. Their porticoed doorways are echoed, albeit on a more massive scale, by the double-height columnar front in Italian granite, while the third and fourth storeys approximate to those of the adjacent houses. An additional floor is set back from the rest of the block, making it almost invisible at street level and providing a trellis-topped balcony.

The roof itself, surrounded by an aluminium and glass-framed protective railing around the entire perimeter, also carries another floor set still further back from the street.

Meanwhile, the left-hand corner of this recessed section is glazed all the way down almost to ground level but otherwise the facade possesses a uniformity underlined by all windows being of the same dimensions and filled with the same aqua-blue glass.

Diagonally opposite that on Adelaide Road, a more dramatic corner tower can be found on Hatch Street's Hardwicke House. Although some of this is clad in granite, a large section of the tower has been constructed in tinted glass and rises a floor higher than the building's six stories.

The Hatch Street facade is narrower than its Adelaide Road counterpart, being only three bays wide, though further width is provided by a glass tower and a recessed section to the left, which then wraps around on to the balcony-fronted fifth floor.

The same glass and Italian granite has been used here as on the other building and in both cases, the lobbies have walls and floors of this stone with a polished finish. While the entrance on Adelaide Road is the same level as the street, that on Hatch Street stands at the top of a short flight of steps which again are of Italian granite. The use of this material makes both Hardwicke and Montague House highly visible since many of the surrounding buildings employ redbrick. A honey-toned brick is used on the sides.