The location of the new facility is within the demise of the current air traffic control facilities at Dublin Airport. The site and the surrounding area is generally level with sparse, low level development adjacent. The height of the new structure will ensure that it will become a significant feature on the Dublin skyline and an essential part of the Brief is to provide an elegant, modern structure, identifiable with the professionalism of the Client organization, that will become a worthy symbol for Dublin, Ireland’s gateway city.
Development of the design concept has established that the optimum solution for the new Dublin VCT comprises three separate but integrated building elements namely:
• A control cab and associated elements.
• The cab supporting shaft.
• A base building. The base building will accommodate staff facilities, electronic systems and mechanical plant space to provide control of the building environment.
The overall height of the VCT structure, resulting from the operational requirement for a control room floor level of 80m above ground level, will be an overall height of 86.9m. Analysis of the brief established that the new facility comprises two main elements: The Cab (including the Visual Control Room or VCR) and its associated Support Facilities. In order to provide a slim, elegant structure and in an effort to keep the tower as light and elegant as possible, most of the support accommodation (technical rooms and associated plant) has been separated from the Tower and is located in a single storey support facility at ground level. This support building is connected to the Cab Shaft with a fully glazed single storey link corridor. The separation of the tower and support accommodation ensures that the free-standing quality of the Tower is unaffected and consequently the new facility appears as two distinct elements, each containing their own distinct functions.
The Cab structure itself comprises 4 levels and contains essential technical facilities/ staff accommodation, plant space, technical equipment, maintenance facilities, and the VCR itself. The tapering cone shape of the cab is a result of the spatial requirements of the various functions at each level, and their relationship (in terms of proximity) to the VCR. The support shaft to the cab is an essential element of the structure and considerable effort has gone into making it appear as slender and unobtrusive as possible. Its triangular plan form derives from the 3 modes of vertical circulation from bottom to top: the 2 lifts and the single escape stairway.