Planning permission has been granted to Trinity to proceed with the development of its new business school premises on the site of Luce Hall.
The building, estimated to be completed by September 2018 at a cost of €70 million, was recently approved for construction by Dublin City Council after a series of public meetings was held to discuss the site and its impact on the area.
The start of construction was delayed when the original plans were rejected by Dublin City Council in pre-planning consultation, primarily on the basis of unsuitable architectural features, including an “over-dominant” rotunda design.
The building was completely redesigned by Scott Tallon Walker architects as a result, with the large rotunda design replaced by a new “splayed” elevation. While overall the building has lost a full floor, it actually gained about 400 square metres in space. Its completion has been pushed back by at least an academic year, however.
The new six-storey building will house a 600-seat auditorium and a 140-seat lecture hall as well as smaller class and lecture rooms and a roof garden. The school will also have a dedicated entrepreneurship and innovation hub, where projects such as Launchbox, the undergraduate summer incubator programme, will be given space. As well as the demolition of Luce Hall, the Simon Perry Building, which houses some functions of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will also be demolished, with many of its functions temporarily relocated until they move into Trinity’s upcoming E3 building, which is only in the early stages of planning.
As part of the project, the row of houses on 183–188 Pearse Street will return to their original purpose of student accommodation, with 24 student rooms created.
Construction is expected to begin in the coming months. A College Board memo obtained by The University Times in April revealed that, along with the rejection of the original plans, an independent board monitor had complained that the parties involved in the project were not communicating with each other. The University Times understands, however, that these issues have been largely resolved.
The business school project is part of a €295 million capital investment plan, outlined in the College’s 2014-19 Strategic Plan.
Edmund Heaphy contributed reporting to this piece.