Friday 21 September 2018

Johnny Ronan's Tara Tower will cast a long shadow over the future of the city

A plan to erect a 22-storey building in a derelict site at Tara Street could change the Dublin skyline forever, writes Liam Collins

Johnny Ronan wants to leave a legacy of iconic buildings in Dublin. Photo: Tony Gavin
Johnny Ronan wants to leave a legacy of iconic buildings in Dublin. Photo: Tony Gavin
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

The future of Dublin's skyline hung in the balance last week as one of the country's Lazarus-like developers, Johnny Ronan, battled to save his 22-storey development on an elbow of the River Liffey facing Liberty Hall.

Devotees of Grand Designs or RTE's Room To Improve might be lured into thinking that architecture is sexy, and maybe it is. But not the planning foreplay of a An Bord Pleanala hearing in a windowless room, as the functional realities of the new high-rise edifice are debated.

But there were occasional flashes of passion as architect Paul O'Brien of Henry J Lyons & Co spoke of the "slender and elegant" 80m structure that, if built, would be the tallest in the city with a five-storey 'podium' incorporating the train station, a new hotel and a 17-storey glass and stone tower topped off with a double height panorama restaurant.

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