Siptu set to lodge new Liberty Hall plan with 'sky pod' top
SIPTU WILL today lodge a planning application with Dublin City Council to replace Liberty Hall with a significantly taller building, topped by a “sky pod” that would give visitors panoramic views over the city and Dublin Bay.
Although the scheme has been discussed in detail with Dublin city planners, it is likely to be opposed by those who believe that the present building, which dates from 1965, is an icon for the emergence of modern Ireland.
The existing 17-storey building, which is 60m (197ft) tall, would be replaced by a 20-storey tower rising to a height of 84m (277ft) with a glass-fronted “sky lift” to take visitors to an enclosed observation terrace at the top.
Siptu unveiled details of the proposed development at its centenary annual conference last October, pledging that the new Liberty Hall would have a “wow factor” second to none in the capital – surpassing the Guinness Storehouse.
Designed by Gilroy McMahon Architects, who were also responsible for Croke Park, the facilities would also include a 300-seat theatre at lower ground level, a heritage centre illustrating Siptu’s history and 15 floors of office space.
Architect Des McMahon said it was likely to attract 250,000 visitors annually, generating significant revenue for Siptu.
From the terrace, it would be possible to look down on the GPO in O’Connell Street and other historic buildings.
Unlike the present tower, which has square floorplates, the new one would be trapezoid in shape. But the architects have sought to ensure that the relative proportions of its height and scale would yield a satisfactory “slenderness ratio”.
A three-storey podium, set back from Eden Quay, would have a cafe, information desk, reception area and a large cut-out in the floor through which a curving staircase would lead down to the new theatre, lit up at night to enliven it.