Developer Paddy McKillen Jr has sought permission from Dublin City Council to preserve, refurbish and extend the iconic former headquarters of New Ireland Assurance on Dawson Street in Dublin city centre.
News of the plan to refashion the property rather than demolish it comes as planners consider proposals for its addition to the council’s Record of Protected Structures. Included in the parties calling for the building’s architectural merit to be considered are the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage at the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht, and Dublin City Council’s own conservation section.
In its submission, conservationists, DoCoMoMo Ireland, describe the New Ireland headquarters, which comprises Nos 9 to 12 Dawson Street, as a “collective statement in the evolution of Irish Modernism” and “irreplaceable”.
Should it be approved, the proposal from Mr McKillen Jr’s company, Goldwing Real Estate Ventures Ltd, would see both the preservation and upgrading of the property, The proposed addition of two setback floors would increase the building’s floor area from 6,731 sq m (72,452 sq ft) to 9,207 sq m (99,103 sq ft). And while the developer’s plan envisages the bulk of the property continuing to operate as offices, it also seeks a change of use for the ground floor to restaurant.
Mr McKillen Jr’s hospitality group, Press Up Entertainment, paid €38m for the Dawson Street property last June.