AN INTERACTIVE science centre called the 'Exploration Station' will be at the heart of a ?500m office, cultural and residential complex to be unveiled by the Government tomorrow.
The building will overtake Cork County Hall to become the tallest in the State.
The massive project, opposite Heuston Station at St John's Road/Military Road will occupy a 14.3 acre site, roughly twice the size of Temple Bar and it will be one of the biggest urban renewal projects yet.
The Tanaiste, Mary Harney and Minister of State Tom Parlon will outline details of the planning application to Dublin City Council for the mixed-use development of the site at a joint news conference tomorrow.
The property in question is owned by the State, mainly Eircom and the Office of Public Works, and the initiative is aimed at transforming state assets to extract maximum use from under-utilised state lands.
The apartments - at least 650 are proposed - will include provision for social and affordable housing. It is believed that anything up to 140,000 square metres of office, residential, cultural and recreational space will be available.
The 1,500 residents and 5,000 people working there, as well as visitors to the exploration station, will have access to the nearby Phoenix Park and Heuston Station by a proposed new elevated roadway.
The science centre will be the most advanced of its kind in the world and is designed to boost interest in the sciences among students and young people through interactive connection with the objects on exhibition. Due to be opened in 2006, it will be owned by the Irish Children's Museum, whose membership includes Ali Hewson and other well-known individuals from at home and abroad.
The Boston Science Museum, one of the world leaders in the field, will be heavily involved in running the project.
Ms Hewson said: " Seeing as we're nearly the last European country in on it, we can learn from children's museums already up and running and expand on them. Everybody should be able to bring their kids and enjoy facilities like this."