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March 11, 2008

Renewal of inner city areas left high and dry

Securing Dublin’s position as a “dynamic, mixed use, visually attractive, world-class city” was the driving force behind the decision to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of the Jurys-Berkeley Court hotel sites in Ballsbridge, according to the planning report. The report, compiled by senior planner Kieran Rose, is full of American references, including a comparison between the proposed scheme and the Rockefeller Centre in New York, “with its integrated composition of towers, a pedestrian mall, plaza and ice-skating rink”. Although the planners omitted its centrepiece, a 37-storey tower on the axis of Pembroke Road, because its height “tends towards the excessive”, it is clear that they were enthralled by the high-rise vision put forward by Danish architects Henning Larsen. The planners saw it as “a radical affirmation for Ballsbridge” and accepted the architects’ argument that creating a high-rise cluster in this area “will have a significant, positive and defining influence in identifying a ‘sense of place’ for Ballsbridge”.

The Irish Times

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