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September 16, 2010

Bank of Ireland vacating Scott Tallon Walker classic

bankofireland_baggot_lge

Moves to downsize the Bank of Ireland have meant the head office on Baggot Street designed by Scott Tallon Walker is now too spacious. Over the last couple of years it has reduced its executive staff, most of them based in Baggot Street, by around 20 per cent. Around 1,700 employees in total have left the bank in the same period.

The Bank of Ireland is to lease a newly built office block at Burlington Road in Ballsbridge, to accommodate staff moving out of the Baggot Street head office. The new facility is within a few hundred yards of the bank’s office building on Mespil Road, which is to become the new official headquarters from the end of March.

The Baggot Street head office dates from 1972. Almost universally loathed by the public and adored by architects, the Bank went to great lengths to build the project against the wishes of nearly everyone. Consisting of three blocks, the first of which was started in 1968 and the last completed in 1978, the building is at complete odds with Georgian Baggot Street. The use of the brown coloured cladding and tinted glass helps minimise its impact but the basic impression is of a huge leviathan shoe horned into the street.

It was sold for €200 million just before the property crash to a consortium of investors led by financier Derek Quinlan and developer Paddy Shovlin. A subsequent decision by Dublin City Council to put a preservation order on it has made it more difficult to get planning approval for additional office space on the site. Before the financial crisis, the bank had been in negotiations to relocate its various operations across 30 offices in Dublin to a planned new 41,805sq m (450,000sq ft) office block planned for the north Docklands by developer Liam Carroll.

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