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Published on 16-03-2009 by Skyscrapernews.com

 

 

Facing off against Norman Foster's U2 Tower on the other side of Dublin's Docks is this new design by Zaha Hadid Architects for major Irish developer, Treasury Holdings.

 

2033DublinTowerPlannedByZahaHadid_pic1.jpg

 

 

Called North Wall, the scheme will stand next door to The O2 and overlooks the key East Link Bridge and replace existing plans for an underwhelming seven-storey glass block. Within there will be some 50,000 square metres of office space adding to the redefinition of this part of Dublin as a growing business district.

 

It follows through some of the themes that are currently recurring at Hadid's practise, most notably a fluid elegance and unstated complexity that avoids straight lines, right angles and corners.

 

The subtly curving glass surfaces form and flowing shapes that create a strong vertical emphasis, in this case they seem to go as far as almost creating an N on one side of the building. Flowing past the lower part of the building is a low-rise wing that cantilevers out into thin air.

 

The design bears more than a slight resemblance to the Zaha Hadid competition entry for the U2 Tower itself which the firm failed to win, raising the question of whether Treasury Holdings fell in love with the design and had it ported over to their site with some changes made to fit their own brief.

 

If the design does go ahead, what it potential means for Dublin is this stretch of the Liffey could become a new architectural gateway for the city with two towers by starchitects facing each other like ying and yang - the curves of Hadid's contrasting strongly with the sharp angle of Fosters.

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