Filmed site visit to North Dock presented by John Parker of ABK Architects. Introductory presentation, short film, and Q&A.
If one was to identify a specific starting point for the design of North Dock, it may have been Fra Carnavale’s ‘Image of The Ideal City’ (1484), or perhaps it was the Ca’ Loredan on the Grand Canal, Venice. Facing onto the Liffey and adjacent to the East-Link bridge, the primary arterial route connecting Northside to South, the project looks to provide a singular, monolithic architectural form in the tradition of great European riverfront buildings as a contrast to the more ephemeral developments ubiquitous in this part of the city. While fulfilling its brief to provide large column free floor plates for the commercial office market the project offers a robust presence that embeds itself into the city. The character of the project is derived from its mass and materiality generated by a layered and modulated asymmetrical composition of deep, precast concrete columns and transoms against an inner surface of bronze panels that together provide rhythm and scale, a coherent architectural whole. The expression of the key river-front volume is defined by this logic whereby the precast concrete frame holds the minor scale of window frame, ventilation shutter and spandrel panel.