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26/27 GRAFTON STREET
Purpose: office space, retail, services
Main contractor: Flynn
Architect: Burke Kennedy Doyle Architects
Our contribution: Performing static, fabrication and site project curtain walls.
Aviva Investors’ plan was to transform the dated, neglected property on Grafton Street into a modern, high standard building that would add elegance to Ireland's busiest thoroughfare.
The aim of the design concept was to give a contemporary look to a neglected building from the 1970s situated in the heart of Grafton Street. As a result of the reconstruction a 5-storey a presentable building consisting of a large new commercial premises extending from the basement to the first floor and renovated offices on the upper floors. The challenge for the designers was to create a contemporary and unified expression for the different spaces behind the façade, which was embedded in the atmosphere characteristic of the area and integrated into the style of Grafton Street. The new façade geometry was defined by a series of slender vertical metal anodized bronze pieces, connected into two interlocking patterns – one rising and the other falling. The falling pattern becomes progressively more open, it takes the form of a cascade system, in contact with the rising pattern, giving the open, double-height front structure its original form while combining it stylistically with the more classic look of the upper floors. Thin horizontal lines form a series of cornices, one on each level of the story, converging on the horizontal lines of the cornices of adjacent street buildings. These elements are located in front of the glass surface of the façade with black glass ornaments that gradually narrow downwards. The renovated building with its clever geometric elements combining architectural tradition with modernity has become part of the character of the most important shopping street in Ireland.
Location of the property on the busy pedestrian meant that the construction had to follow certain rules imposed by the city government arrangements with the owners of neighboring buildings to minimize interference in the street. To keep the construction phase running smoothly, most of the demolition work was carried out overnight, from 10.30pm to 6.00am.
The building is one of first properties on Grafton Street, which uses contemporary trends in architecture. Perfectly compositing itself into the Grafton Street stylistics, but it also adds to it character.