Project Architect: Murray O’Laoire Architects: 2007 – 2008
Photography: Mike Hannon Media
George’s Quay is located in the heart of Cork’s commercial core, enhanced by a quayside profile and vistas down the river. The development comprises No.1 & 2 George’s Quay, including the restoration of an original landmark Cork building, dating from 1770.
No.1 George’s Quay, an existing three-storey building, is a Protected Structure under the Cork City Development Plan and is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Essentially Georgian in character, this late 18th century merchant’s house has been refurbished as a single tenant office building, while maximising its historical features and proportions.
This ambitious restoration project remains a distinctly separate building from No.2, the adjacent new office building. No.2 George’s Quay is a mixed-use development comprising a commercial unit at ground floor with independent street access and three self contained office suites on each of the above floors, with associated car parking at ground level. The facade is predominately glazed which takes full advantage of the views looking eastwards down the river.
A structural steel frame was used to optimise spans and create generous offices spaces with both north and east aspects. Fibre cement cladding panels are used to articulate the individual plot boundaries and are in contrast to the adjacent painted rendered walls of the original Protected Structure. This cladding detail is carried through to the double height entrance foyer from the quay, articulated so as to ensure the scale of the development surrounding the existing historic building complements rather than dominates the setting. Polished concrete, steel and granite are used to distinguish the main stair-core from the offices above.