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April 22, 2008

‘Park in the Sky’ to provide wow factor

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The success of the Guinness Storehouse in becoming Ireland’s number one visitor attraction inspired the “Park in the Sky” proposal for the Carlton site. If Guinness could draw so many people to a relatively remote location, Chartered Land could surely pull them into O’Connell Street. “When we began to look at the restaurant quarter [ on the upper levels of the shopping centre], the challenge was to make it work,” said chief executive Dominic Deeny. “We needed a very strong anchor and we see garden, funicular and observation deck doing that.” Mark Turpin, of Dublin Central Architects, sees the “Park in the Sky” as a bold, spectacular move of the sort that all cities need – and Upper O’Connell Street needs more than most. At present, as he said, this part of the street is dead, apart from people queuing at bus stops. One of the main reasons, he believes, is that the unbroken frontage between Henry Street and Parnell Street is too long at 400m, so the other “big move” in the scheme is to open up a new street, more than 30m wide at its entrance, halfway along the block.

The Irish Times