A €44.5 million regeneration of Dublin City Council’s Constitution Hill flat complex, which will increase the number of homes by 40 per cent without demolishing any of the existing flats, is to begin this year.
The complex of 89 flats, built in three blocks in the late 1960s opposite the historic King’s Inns building at Broadstone, is seen by the council as an “iconic” example of social housing of its period.
However, the condition of the blocks has deteriorated over the decades since their construction, and the individual flats are considerably smaller than would be permitted in a newly built complex.
While there have been proposals to demolish the complex over the years, the council has decided to retain the three five-storey blocks, but extend them with an additional floor on top of each building. It will also build two new seven-storey apartment blocks on the site and 10 two-storey houses, resulting in a total of 124 homes at an average cost of just under €360,000 each
Despite the addition of a storey to each of the three blocks, the number of apartments in the old complex will be reduced from about 30 in each block to to 22, to allow for larger homes, some almost 50 per cent larger, with a 50sq m two-bedroom apartment increasing to 73sq m. Three-bed flats will increase in size from 73sq m to 90sq m.
The inner city site, which borders the Broadstone bus garage, is constrained, with very little surrounding land, and the two new blocks to the north and south of the existing flats will sit on a much smaller footprint, but will accommodate more apartments, with 24 in each seven-storey building.
The 10 “mews” houses will sit at the back of the site against the bus garage wall and will largely be accommodated by the elimination of car parking spaces. The existing complex has 60 designated parking spaces, with “unofficial” parking taking place elsewhere in the limited grounds. The council plans to reduce the total available parking spaces to 23, two of which will be designated wheelchair accessible. The council said it will provide 163 secure bicycle parking spaces within the buildings.
The council also points out that the complex is exceptionally well located for access to public transport. “The Broadstone Luas station is immediately adjacent to the site and the new BusConnects bus corridor will run along the full length of the site,” it said. There are also two Dublin Bike hire stations less than 250m from the site and the city centre is within a 10-minute walk.
[ Bus lanes in Ranelagh and car parking at Merrion Square to be reallocated for cyclists ]
[ Student accommodation crisis: ‘Instead of being a junk press, a single mattress was put in… I was living there’ ]
The project is the council’s first big retrofit scheme under a plan announced two years ago to bring about 8,000 of its older flats up to mandatory EU energy standards.
Following the work, all the homes will meet B2 building energy rating (Ber) standards. The council intends to retain the existing brickwork of the old flats, so thermal insulation will be applied internally to “preserve and enhance the character of these iconic buildings”, it said.
“Sitting on the crest of the hill, they feel like heroic volumes as you rise up to approach from Church Street or come from Phibsboro,” it said.
Construction is expected to begin in November and is due to be completed by mid-2027. Plans for the complex are available for public consultation until January 26th.