U2 centre may not be the sweetest thing for Hanover quay locals

by Dublin Gazette
0 comment

Residents of Hanover Quay have lodged objections to a planned visitors centre celebrating U2.

As well as complaints from 63 residents, property investment firm Carysfort Capital have said the new build will have a “profound and long-term effect” on the character of the Grand Canal Dock area.

Carysfort Capital are currently behind the development of the nearby 6HQ apartment block, which will house 120 apartments when built, and overlooks the proposed visitor centre.

Planning consultants for Carysfort, McGill Planning, said in their objection that “the chosen design and architectural language is not appropriate for [Hanover Quay], and that the centre “presents a significant and unsympathetic urban edge to Hanover Quay”.

McGill have also said that plans for the new centre “lack any concern” for future residents of the 6HQ development as it will create a “visual barrier” for residents living on the bottom floor of the complex.

The centre has been branded as “oppressive, intimidating and unattractive”, with residents saying the U2 mecca is “wholly unsuitable” for the location.

An objection to the four-storey centre was lodged on behalf of the residents by the board of 5-7 Hanover Quay (Residential) Management Company.

Plans for the visitor centre were submitted to Dublin City Council on June 26, with observations for the proposal closing last Monday.

Despite opposition from locals, Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Failte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation have all lent their support to the visitor centre in documents lodged with the council.

According to plans submitted by U2’s own company, MHEC Ltd, in conjunction with Golden Brook Ltd, the visitor centre will see the demolition of the current Hanover Studios site at Hanover Quay on the south-side of the Liffey to build the new visitor attraction.

A background concept for the visitor centre says that the Hanover Quay space is “now little used” but has become a place of “pilgrimage for U2 fans worldwide” who leave graffiti and markings as a sign of respect on the building.

The current building is seen as U2’s rehearsal, storage and recording space in the city, where the North Dublin band recorded six of their albums.

Documents filed as part of the application process detail that there will be paraphernalia from U2’s decades-long career, including old guitars and outfits.

There will also be a re-construction of the original studio used by the band, various exhibit areas, a cafe, an auditorium and an area for merchandise.

The concept proposal by Manahan Planners details: “The goal will be to create a sense of the social, cultural and political context of the band’s work and their inspiration.

“Rather than a passive experience, visitors will be encouraged to become part of the U2 story, interacting and engaging to uncover deeper layers.”

A decision has not yet been made on the application by Dublin City Council.

Related Articles