State-owned ESB insisted it cannot reveal shortlisted designs for the redevelopment of its controversially-sited headquarters. Scores of entries in a competition to redesign the head office at Fitzwilliam Street in the heart of Georgian Dublin have been whittled down to just three plans. But the publicly-owned power company said it cannot disclose the potential winning designs because of a confidentiality clause under EU procurement law.
The development of the existing headquarters in 1970 sparked protests by conservationists over the demolition of 16 Georgian houses. But planning permission was granted and the row was pulled down on what was Dublin’s “Georgian Mile” – from Mount Street to Leeson Street – to be replaced by Arthur Gibney and Sam Stephenson’s modern precast concrete facade. ESB later opened a Georgian house at Number 29, in which visitors can see what a house from the era might have looked like.