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1994 – Irish Waterways Visitor Centre, Grand Canal Docks, Dublin

Architect: Office of Public Works



The Irish Waterways Visitor Centre is located in one of the waterways it celebrates – the Inner Basin of the 1796 Grand Canal Dock. Although seemingly a floating structure, the centre is sites on steel work set into the gravel base of the dock. In true Dublin fashion, the building has received the moniker of the ‘box in the docks’ from Dubliners due to its form made of the primary elements of a cube and cylinder.

The services area of the building including toilets and staff areas are incorporating into a structure on the quay wall with visitors passing through this across a 3m long walkway to the main centre. The structure is basically a cube with one corner removed as an entrance area containing the cylinder made of glass blocks which brings light down into the foyer and includes a stairwell to the upper internal level and the roof promenade.

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1796 – Grand Canal Locks, Dublin

The Earl of Camden opened the docks and one of the large locks, which separate the docks from the Liffey,...