Brief

Located in the commercial core of Cork city centre with frontage onto Grand Parade and Patrick Street, this high street infill project provides quality contemporary retail and office accommodation, while respecting the fine urban grain and scale of the neighbouring buildings.

The principal driver for the development is to assist with the provision of higher order retail units of an appropriate size within the city centre retail core, in line with the policy of the Development Plan.

Response

From basement levels to the second floor the building will provide large format floorplates and ancillary back-of-house, to meet the requirements of modern retailers and enhance the over retail provision of the city centre. High quality office use is also proposed on the third floor.

The design addresses various concerns, the most significant of which relates to heights and the treatment of existing buildings. The proposal creates a building of three floors with a fourth set back. The facade at Patrick Street will be sensitively retained while that at Grand Parade has been modulated with a vertical emphasis to respect the existing grain and rhythm of the surrounding streetscape. The modulation, massing and break-up of facades rewrites the narrative of the plots and subdivisions accumulated over time, into a contemporary style.

Paying homage to the historic streetscape of Patrick Street, the existing facades of numbers 55, 56 and 57 are retained as elements within a new tapestry, giving energy through a glazed element at street level and its upper level. The existing facades, although not of great architectural merit individually, nor designated as protected structures, offer a familiar pattern to the street and the vitality of the glazed insertion, provides a complimentary addition to the streetscape.

Planning permission for a 12,275 sqm mixed use development was successfully obtained for the client. The building will form a dramatic feature on the street. Its modern urban overture and the sequence of layers will provide for a new urban experience and generate human interaction at both the street and upper levels.