120m tower to be built at Dublin docks


A 120-metre landmark tower, which will be the tallest building in Ireland, has been given planning approval by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA).

The tower, which will be the focal point of a new €800 million Point Village development, will be the same height as the Spire on O'Connell Street.

The developers of the Watchtower project say foundation works are already under way at the site and the tower should be completed by the end of next year. It will be one of two skyscrapers in the development.

Designed by architects Scott Tallon Walker, it will hold a rooftop restaurant, luxury apartments and offices, with "bullet" lifts running on the outside of the structure.

The village will also include a redeveloped Point venue, which will be doubled inside and transformed into a Roman-style amphitheatre shape, with seating for up to 15,000 people. It is expected to close in the autumn to facilitate the redevelopment.

A 250-bed hotel, shopping centre, cinema and offices are included in the village develop- ment, which developer Harry Crosbie has said he hopes to have completed by the end of 2010. "This is the final piece in the jigsaw and we're delighted."

The Watchtower is one of a number of high-rise development proposals at various stages of the planning process. They include a second tower known as the U2 tower to be located on Britain Quay in the south docklands.

Designed by Blackrock-based architects Burdon Dunne-Craig Henry, this "twisting tower" would house new recording studios for rock band U2 on its upper levels. The docklands are expected to become one of the key residential areas close to the city centre with upwards of 45,000 residents.

Meanwhile, the DDDA has submitted a request to the Minister for the Environment for permission to develop a planning scheme for the Irish Glass Bottle site and the adjacent area, amounting to more than 100 acres.