Sunday 28 June 2009

TCD to turn listed bank building into bar

TRINITY College Dublin is set to expand into Temple Bar and renovate buildings on Anglesea Street and Foster Place in order to build a new bar and restaurant.

The former Allied Irish Bank premises is set to be revamped from a banking hall into a trendy bar which will span two floors. The entire development will stretch across seven buildings.

Also included in the extensive plans are proposals for a retail outlet on ground-floor level.

A spokeswoman for the
college said: "Planning permission is being sought to upgrade the entire property to accommodate improved educational facilities and comply with current building regulations and accessibility standards."

The upper levels of the buildings will be overhauled and extended to provide academic accommodation – a mixture of teaching rooms, study rooms and offices for the faculty of arts (humanities) and social sciences.

The work will require the removal of 200-year-old banking vaults.

Four of the buildings are listed as protected structures.

The body, which represents businesses in Temple Bar, Traders in the Area Supporting the Cultural Quarter (TASCQ), will discuss the scheme in its next sub-committee meeting.

"We are not anti-development in any sense, but we will look over the proposals when we get them," said Martin Harte, executive manager of TASCQ.

"In general, the area of development in question is an important gateway to Temple Bar and we usually support plans for advancement of the area."

Local publican and owner of The Bank on College Green Charlie Chawke said that while he thought the area had enough bars, he was in support of any progress which enhanced the area for tourists and locals alike.

"If they get through the rigorous work such a project demands it will be a good move for the area. The buildings themselves are very beautiful and it will be interesting to see what happens," he said.

It is understood the redesign of the premises has been prepared by Moloney O'Beirne architects.

Sunday Tribune

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