Grafton Architects were asked by the Office of Public Works to assess an existing 1970’s building as office accommodation for the Department of Finance, close to St.Stephen’s Green in the centre of Dublin. The project includes the modification of a 1912 Protected Structure called The Billets and a new underground link into the adjacent Government Buildings complex. The 1970’s building proved to be unsuitable for the Office of Public Works & Government Department requirements and a new one was commissioned.
The fundamental concept of this new building is rooted in its immediate urban context, relating to the particular qualities of the public park of St.Stephen’s Green, the Huguenot Cemetery and the 18th century Georgian street context of Merrion Row. The site is interpreted as a continuation of St. Stephen’s Green with the Huguenot Cemetery forming another open space – a secret garden – along the street.