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November 22, 2007

Arup engineers a sustainable agenda in its new offices

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ARUP, the global design consultancy, has long been at the cutting-edge of modern building technology. So it is entirely appropriate that the firm’s Irish branch recently vacated an amalgam of Victorian houses on leafy Wellington Road and moved into a cutting-edge building in Docklands. Designed by Fitzgerald Kavanagh + Partners, the new office block rises out of the brick front of the former Irish Glass Bottle Company’s headquarters, a restrained Art Deco-style 1930s building chiefly noted for its early use of glass block, surmounted by a clock; the new building is all the better for having retained this history. Ove Arup, a Dane born in Newcastle upon Tyne, was one of the legendary engineers of the 20th century, and the firm he founded in 1946 was imbued with a strong ethos of professional service; its string of credits include Sydney Opera House, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Øresund bridge linking Denmark and Sweden. Indeed, it was the brilliant Dundalk-born structural engineer Peter Rice, then still in his 20s and working for Arup, who figured out how to make the opera house stand up – using orange segments as his inspiration.

The Irish Times

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