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April 17, 2008

Hotel design a major coup, says Edge

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The demolition of the Clarence Hotel, Dublin, a protected structure, and its rebuilding to a design by British architect Norman Foster was “an incredible coup for Dublin city”, U2 guitarist and one of the owners of the hotel, the Edge, has said. He was speaking outside a Bord Pleanála appeal hearing against plans to demolish all but the facades of the hotel, its expansion from 49 to 140 rooms, and the addition of a metallic elliptical roof called the “sky catcher”. One of the appellants to the project, conservationist Michael Smith, yesterday described the proposed building as a “cannibalistic behemoth” and said the sky catcher would look like a spaceship had landed in Temple Bar. The hotel had done an “immense amount of good for the city”, the Edge said, but it had run into financial difficulties in recent years and, if it was to be sustained, it needed to be redeveloped. Although the hotel and surrounding buildings, which have been purchased for the €150 million extension and redevelopment, are listed on the record of protected structures, it is proposed that they will be demolished and only their front facades retained.

The Irish Times

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