Point Village sets wheels in motion for its big attractions
LONDON'S got one, so does Belfast and now Dublin is set to get its own ferris wheel towering 60 metres above the River Liffey.
The massive €10m observation wheel, similar to London's Eye and the Wheel of Belfast, will not only give stunning views over the capital but even as far afield as the Dublin and Wicklow mountains when it opens this summer.
The big wheel will be the jewel in the crown of The Point Village Square at Dublin's Docklands, which has been given the green light to proceed with plans to house an open-air concert stage, giant outdoor cinema screen and weekend market stalls next to The 02 arena.
The Big Wheel will be the first attraction to come on stream and is due to open on May 1.
It will initially feature 21 fully enclosed capsules or pods capable of seating eight people. There will also be VIP pods that can be hired out for special occasions like weddings or birthdays.
The wheel will be located in the heart of Point Village Square. The temporary site will house 116 multi-coloured shipping containers that will be used to form a giant rectangular wall -- similar to egg cartons used for sound insulation -- to form a perimeter around the massive outdoor stage.
Situated next to The 02 arena, the open-air stage will host free lunchtime concerts featuring everything from jazz and classical quartets to rock bands, as well as theatrical performances and public events.
Dublin City Council -- which is a partner in the project along with developer Harry Crosbie -- granted planning permission for the project on Thursday night.
Although it's a temporary structure, it will be kept in situ for the next four years until further development anticipated at The Point Village picks up after the recession.
"The square is a temporary and low-cost solution allowing The Point Village to share its assets with the public rather than let them lie idle during the present recession," Mr Crosbie said.
"The clever, modular design from LiD Architecture means that we can build the square very quickly and inexpensively with containers and get on with booking the acts that will be performing out there every lunchtime."
He anticipates the square -- covering an area of approximately two acres -- will attract 7 million visitors a year and will become a major tourist attraction.
The site will also house 70 kiosks and more than a dozen stalls for art and design students to showcase their wares.
The vibrant market -- to be styled after London's famous Covent Garden -- will feature traditional farmers' produce as well as household goods, crafts, antiques and other items.