Wednesday 26 October 2016

Trinity's €52m Oisin House plan gets go-ahead

Published 25/02/2016 | 02:30

Trinity has won permission to tear down Oisin House in Dublin 2:
Trinity has won permission to tear down Oisin House in Dublin 2:

Trinity College has got the go-ahead for a €52m student accommodation development on Dublin’s Pearse Street.

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Dublin City Council has just given the scheme the all-clear, but that decision could now be appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

An Taisce, the national trust for Ireland, had opposed the plan, arguing that the “densification” of Oisin House is “not necessary or desirable”.

The scheme calls for the demolition of the five-storey Oisin House, which is adjacent to Trinity, and the construction of a seven-storey, 13,800 sq m development that will house 278 student accommodation units.

The project architects are Dublin-based McCullough Mulvin, whose previous projects have included the Trinity Long Room Hub, which is the new humanities research building.

Planning for the project is being handled by the Dublin office of Bilfinger GVA, one of the largest commercial property advisers working in the UK and Ireland.

Oisin House has been in use by the Department of Social Protection and its predecessor for over 20 years.

Two Trinity alumni branded the plans a “monstrosity” and said that they and other graduates are threatening to withdraw from fundraising activities for Trinity if construction proceeded.

An Taisce told the Council that: “The proposal amounts to an exercise in floorspace maximisation at the expense of an area of great historic, architectural and civic design sensitivity.”

The project will involve the creation of a courtyard, three squash courts and a handball court. Retail units and ancillary student services will also be incorporated into the scheme. It will also involve alterations to a protected structure to the rear of Oisin House, called the Printing Works, which sits within Trinity’s grounds. The entire scheme is slated to be completed by 2018.

In response to concerns raised by Dublin City Council, planners for Trinity College submitted additional information last month.

Some minor alterations were introduced, including a revised elevation for Pearse Street to address concerns in relation to height, bulk and massing.

There’s been a surge in interest in the construction of student accommodation in Dublin.

Last week, the student housing division of UK-based Hattington Capital was granted permission by Dublin City Council for a €25m student accommodation scheme on Thomas Street, on the site of the former Frawley’s store.

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