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March 12, 2008

McCauley Daye O’Connell proposal for VHI in Abbey Street

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In 2004, VHI appointed McCauley Daye O’Connell to prepare a design to create a new high quality contemporary extension to its existing VHI Headquarters which incorporated Scot’s Church and also provides much needed additional office floor space. The church is the only surviving Dublin building by Limerick architect, William Fogerty. Originally the church was intended to have a spire but this was never constructed. The interior was completed in 1867.

According to the architects, “the concept is to create a new design which carefully integrates the old and new to create a new building where they both co-exist in a respectful yet dynamic way, giving these important buildings a new life and purpose and reintegrating them back into the city-life”. The result is an interesting proposal to “encase” the former parish hall inside the lower level of the new office building.

The new Public Spaces will be located at ground level. The existing church will be refurbished and become the VHI’s new public centrepiece entrance foyer and concourse which will link to the existing VHI front and rear. The new floor plates will be suspended above the parish and lecture hall using a carefully positioned lightweight steel column exoskeleton. These floor plates will link with the existing VHI office floors, creating a continuous U-shape with the church as the centrepiece. To create this the parish hall and lecture hall will be left almost completely intact, at the Mezzanine level at the rose window, an internal glazed atrium is designed into the offices to feature and light this existing rose window naturally.

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