PLANS TO demolish the six-storey former motor tax office behind the Four Courts in Dublin and replace it with a part seven and 11-storey block have been rejected by An Bord Pleanála.
Linders of Smithfield, which bought the 1970s River House at Chancery Street from Dublin City Council, secured permission for the redevelopment from the city planners subject to a number of conditions, including one that a revised façade be used.
The developers had proposed to wrap the building in what was described as “an external woven mesh screen that unifies the building and gives it an abstract quality”. This was intended to reduce the glare and solar gain associated with the east and west façades. The mesh was also to wrap over the top of the building to screen a plant area at roof level.
The new development was to have 8,636sq m (92,957sq ft) to accommodate 450 workers. The layout provided for a café at ground floor level.
An Taisce said it was seriously concerned about the impact of the proposed building which appeared significantly larger than the dome on the Four Courts “which is a pre-eminently important building and is one of the images of Dublin”.
The inspector from An Bord Pleanála said he found the proposed building to be “insensitively large in scale, poorly proportioned, less than elegant, even threatening and with the proposed use of the mesh rather gimmicky”.