The site for the Fingal Civic Offices in Blanchardstown is located in a well established commercial / retail district in northwest County Dublin. Unfortunately, the site was located behind a number of large but low public buildings (the Draiocht building, the Arts Centre and the Leisureplex) and would not have a presence on the main public thoroughfare in Blanchardstown Town Centre.
The form and plan of the scheme has derived in part from an analysis of pedestrian and vehicular traffic movement both to and around the building. The established pedestrian circulation route that connects Grove Road to Blanchardstown Town Centre generates the form of the principal building block. This curved wing creates a new civic space that links the scheme with the Council’s Arts and Library buildings. New hard landscaping, extensive mature tree planting, a reflecting pool and public lighting define the pedestrian route from Blanchardstown Town Centre to the new public space enclosed by the new building.
The scheme consists of four separate four storey office blocks organised about a central glazed pedestrian spine. Major vertical circulation is located in the atrium and serves a system of bridges linking the office blocks. The central spine unites the buildings into one readily identifiable development and also provides a clearly defined circulation route across the site. The first office block is curved on plan while the remaining three are rectilinear in form. The first blocks provide accommodation for Fingal County Council. The remaining two blocks are speculative office units.
The buildings are clad with buff coloured terracotta cladding and grey aluminium curtain walling system. Cedar brise-soleil soften the elevations on the southeast and southwest facades.
The building is energy efficient using passive and active environmental control technology. Windows are user operable and the office space is naturally ventilated. A mixed mode displacement ventilation system, coupled with a heat exchanger, provides fresh or warm air through the raised floor. Exposed concrete ceiling panels utilise thermal mass cooling to avoid the need for air conditioning.