The Gardens International Office
LEED Gold Standard
The 0.6 acre Gardens site is located at the former GPO complex and Roche’s ‘Hanging Gardens’ Building, Lower Henry Street, Limerick. Limerick City and County Council acquired the site together with the adjacent No. 19 Henry Street property in 2014. Planning permission was secured for 112,000 sq. ft of Grade A office accommodation in 2016. The development designed by Carr Cotter &Naessens Architects, will have a unique character, enriched by the combination of dynamic, contemporary architecture and old heritage buildings and will be Limerick’s first city centre LEED Gold certified office scheme (an international accreditation programme that recognises best-in-class building strategies and practices).
The Gardens site is ideally positioned to match current IDA requirements for large-scale, knowledge-based enterprises to Limerick City Centre.
Construction works have commenced and it is intended that the development will be completed during the second quarter of 2018.
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112,000 sq. ft.
Enabling works on site. Main contract on site by Q1 2017
Q4 2016 & Q2 2018
Background and history to the site:
The former General Post Office, Roche’s Hanging Garden and Mercantile Building was established in 1801, when Thomas and William Roche, successful businessmen, founded a bank on O’Connell Street and built an extensive complex of stone vaults to the rear on land extending to Henry Street. The massive stone vaults were topped with terraced gardens, incorporating a sophisticated system of irrigation and greenhouses for the cultivation of exotic fruits such as pineapples, oranges and peaches.
The gardens were a popular attraction and afforded panoramic views of the river Shannon and its lush hinterland. Although known by many as ‘Roche’s folly’, the structure proved to be a sound, even lucrative investment for Mr. Roche as the government rented the vaults for the secure storage of high value items such as tobacco and spirits. Two of the vaults now remain, having been replaced in the early 20th century by a courtyard complex of red brick buildings accommodating the General Post Office. This too was partially replaced in 2007 and the courtyard space replaced by a 5 storey concrete frame to be developed as a commercial office development in the heart of Limerick City.
Limerick City and County Council recognised the significant opportunity to create a unique and leading workplace development in the heart of the city, one of 5 key spatial transformations advocated in the Limerick 2030: An Economic and Spatial Plan for Limerick.
The development is not merely a building but an assembly of buildings, a piece of the city - a mosaic of old and new. An understanding of the diverse characteristics of each part is key to the realisation of a coherent and integrated design proposal. The development may be described as comprising 3 elements:
- A rational and logically planned office block arranged about a green courtyard and clad in glass for panoramic riverside views.
- The historic structures of the General Post Office buildings and the stone vaults of the Hanging Gardens, each with clear relationships to the street.
- The corner building, a new development of contemporary masonry construction that anchors the development with a prominent street presence.