THE development of Cork's answer to the iconic Flatiron building has taken a major step forward with the submission of plans to Cork City Council today.
The €20 million, 15-storey iconic glass-fronted building is planned for a triangular brownfield site just yards from Parnell Place bus station. It has been unused for decades and was recently purchased by Kevin and Donal O'Sullivan, the Kerry developers behind the Port of Cork skyscraper build.
Tower Holdings Group, owned by Kevin O'Sullivan, will now oversee the development of a 5,900 square metre office development on the site.
Named 'The Prism', the Clontarf Street development has been designed by Cork-based architects Reddy Architecture + Urbanism and is inspired by the iconic Flatiron on New York's Fifth Avenue.
Mr O'Sullivan said the development fits with plans for revitalisation in the city centre.
"Our aim is to build a slender, elegant, transparent glass structure that is as much a piece of sculpture as it is a building. The development of The Prism Building will enhance a neglected, yet strategic, area of the city with a light-filled building, providing a state of the art modern office building which is very much in demand in Cork City.
“Our hope is that this development will enhance and enliven the local area, acting as a catalyst for the development of nearby sites. It will become a location marker for a rejuvenated city quarter, providing a much-needed link between the city centre and the Docklands.”
The Cork Chamber welcomed the news of the development.
Speaking to the Evening Echo, Thomas Mc Hugh, Director of Public Affairs at Cork Chamber said: “It is very positive to see the commercial sector continuing to strengthen and attract inward investment with visionary projects becoming a hallmark of the ongoing development of Cork."
"This project will continue to develop the links from the City Centre to the Docklands, enlivening an area of latent potential and providing a unique size of office floorplate adjacent to public transport that will be very attractive to SME’s.”
Architect Seán Kearns said the aim of the project was to produce an 'iconic' piece of architecture with 'a sense of bravura' in the city centre.
"The facade will have floor-to-ceiling super clear vision glass providing the optimum combination of very high light transparency with low reflectivity, with solar protection and thermal insulation for a pleasant indoor climate throughout the year. The glass walls will be complemented with a textured stainless steel element, adding to the ‘crystalline’ effect of the overall building,” he said.
The O'Sullivan brothers are also at an advanced stage of pre-planning consultation with City Hall for a separate €250 million multi-storey hotel and apartment development on the Custom House site, which they acquired last year.
Mr O'Sullivan said the complexity of the project required the assembly of an international team of consultants to protect the integrity of the historic site and its buildings.