THE architects appointed to design one of the key projects at Limerick's Opera Site have said the development will boost the visual dynamic of the city centre and its ability to win significant inward investment.
Coady Architects - specialists in architecture, master planning, interior design, building information modelling and sustainable design - have been appointed to design the six-storey One Opera Square building from the corner of Michael Street and Ellen Street.
They have partnered with Woods Bagot, a global architectural practice, which has an expertise in complex and large scale city centre regeneration projects.
The 14,649 square metre building will reaffirm Limerick Twenty Thirty’s intention to deliver Grade A offices for the city, maintaining the high standard already set with the multi award winning Gardens International project on Henry Street.
The Opera Site project is not alone the biggest of its kind undertaken in Limerick but the largest commercial property programme outside the capital.
Around 500 people will be employed at peak output on the site which, when fully developed, will have the capacity for up to 3,000 employees across a 450,000 square foot campus.
Construction will take up to six years to complete at an estimated cost of €250m.
One Opera Square, which will be one of the pillar projects in the wider Opera Site, will stretch across the entire footprint of the former Michael Street car park. It will be designed to leading international LEED Gold, WELL Cert and Wired Score building standards.
COADY already has a significant understanding of the Opera Site having, as part of a Project Management led team, contributed to the preparation of the Design Brief for Opera in 2018 and led the Masterplan, which formed a framework for the successful planning application in 2019.
In addition to the One Opera Square building, the company will also design the entire basement, which will knit the campus seamlessly underground.
COADY’s civil and structural engineers on the project are Limerick based company Punch Consulting Engineers who have an in-depth knowledge of the site having already constructed a basement, underpinned facades and stabilised existing Georgian Terraces there.
One Opera Square is one of six parcels within the wider Opera site project. It will be a modern office building with a gross area of 14,649 square metres. It will provide five floors of flexible Grade A commercial office space over ground level, which will consist of retail, convenience store and café/restaurant to ensure the site complements the busy plaza development at the centre of the Opera Site.
Commenting on their appointment, Tomás Sexton, director with COADY said: “The Opera Site is going to change the whole look and feel of Limerick city centre and One Opera Square is going to be a key element of that. It is a superb opportunity to provide large scale, Grade A office accommodation that is not currently available in the city. It will, in the process, strengthen Limerick’s ability to attract major investment and employment into the city."
Mr Sexton added: “We’ve had the privilege of working on the masterplan design and that’s given us a fantastic sense of the wider project and the influence it will have on the city, both visually and economically. It really is such an exciting time for Limerick, and we’re delighted to be playing a part in this.”
David Conway, CEO of Limerick Twenty Thirty commented: “It’s been a very challenging start to the year, and an incredibly challenging 12 months generally because of Covid. Little did we think when the Opera site received planning permission in February of last year what was about to unfold, that we would have so much of last year wiped out and spend the first four months plus of this year also in lockdown. But as we start to emerge now from Covid, we’re fortunate in Limerick to have such a monumental development beginning."
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