‘The bunkers’

Published in Issue 2 (March/April 2014), Volume 22

Above: Dublin’s Civic Offices today (from Fishamble Street)—still referred to by many as ‘the bunkers’.

Above: Dublin’s Civic Offices today (from Fishamble Street)—still referred to by many as ‘the bunkers’.

The Civic Offices are possibly the most controversial buildings erected in Dublin during the twentieth century—still referred to by many as ‘the bunkers’. A design competition was held and in 1968 it was announced that Stephenson Gibney Architects had won. As originally proposed, the scheme consisted of four concrete panel-clad towers with vertical window bays and re-entrant corners producing a cruciform plan, raised on a podium. But the design was reduced in response to the emerging archaeological landscape and only two of the towers were ultimately built, completed in 1986. A second competition was held to finish the project in the late 1980s and this was won by Scott Tallon and Walker, who had come second in the first competition. They completed the new build along the quay frontage in 1996.

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