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Developer Johnny Ronan submits plan for 17-storey tower in Dublin docklands

Redevelopment of Citi’s current European headquarters to include public viewing gallery known as the Liffey Experience on 16th floor

Developer Johnny Ronan’s Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) has proposed the creation of a public viewing gallery to be known as the “Liffey Experience” as part of its proposed redevelopment of global banking giant Citi’s current European headquarters at 1 North Wall Quay in Dublin’s docklands.

RGRE has sought permission to demolish the bank’s existing six-storey office building and to replace it with a new net-zero structure built to LEED Platinum standard with an A3 Ber rating and geothermal renewable energy piles below basement level.

Should it get the go-ahead the proposed development would comprise 47,225sq m (508,325sq ft) of office, cultural and public space distributed across several blocks ranging in height from nine to 17 storeys along 125m of river frontage.

The Liffey Experience, an interactive space dedicated to educating visitors on the history of the river and the role it has played in the establishment and evolution of the city, would be located on the 16th floor of the development, offering 180-degree views across the east, south and west of Dublin from its landscaped viewing terrace. The wider scheme also includes plans for a workshop and teaching space for the Gaiety Theatre acting school and a community park.


While the development will likely face opposition owing to the level of carbon emissions associated with the demolition and removal of Citi’s offices, a study conducted on RGRE’s behalf by architects Henry J Lyons suggests that the replacement of the existing structure would be the better option in terms of delivering what they describe as an “optimum operational low-carbon building”. Having tested the adaptability and reuse potential of all its existing buildings the study found that 1 North Wall Quay would require “extensive upgrades and interventions” to its existing concrete frame that would be costly in both financial and carbon expenditure terms”.

Should it secure planning permission the proposed demolition and replacement of 1 North Wall Quay would get under way following Citi’s planned move to its new European headquarter campus, which RGRE is developing currently at its Waterfront South Central site elsewhere in Dublin’s north docklands.

Commenting on his company’s proposal for 1 North Wall Quay, RGRE’s chief development officer James Ronan said: “We want this to be another landmark contribution from Ronan Group to our capital city, another exciting chapter in the evolution of Dublin.

“We have been to the forefront of development along the Liffey’s north quays, and this project will combine the high-quality design and building standards for which we have become known with the highest levels of energy efficiency and sustainability in construction.”

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times