City Library Project FAQs
The project will deliver 5,500 square metres of modern, bright open spaces for reading and lending, as well as a variety of spaces for studying, working, meeting, creating and performing. Facilities will include a welcoming library for children and young adults, a makerspace, meeting rooms and study spaces, as well as a multi-purpose conference centre, a café and exhibition areas.
Phase 1 of the project will deliver a new city library for Dublin, including a multi-purpose conference centre, spaces to meet, read and study, a café and exhibition areas.
The proposed development also includes the initial redevelopment of one of the Georgian houses at Number 27 Parnell Square West, and a new public plaza created in front of the city library buildings and the Hugh Lane Gallery.
The full development, prior to phasing, was originally estimated at €130 million (2018). The project is being very carefully managed in terms of cost control, and we will have a clear view of the final project cost at the construction tender stage.
The Project received preliminary approval for Urban Regeneration and Development Fund funding in March 2021. The funding amount was €56,634,459 (excl. VAT) for Phase 1 and €14,187,041 (excl. VAT) for public realm works. The balance of the funding will be provided by DCC. In accordance with the Public Spending Code, DCC is in the process of completing a detailed Business Case to be presented to the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government.
DCC has spent approximately €2.5 million so far on security, site surveys, investigation works, and building maintenance.
In relation to all borrowings of DCC, a report must first be put to the City Council seeking approval. Once granted, approval is then sought from our parent Government department, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
No, the ambition remains the same, although it will now be delivered on a phased basis.
Phase 1 works are currently being developed. This includes demolition of the existing Amharclann, construction of the new city library, essential works to the Georgian house numbers 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 with house No 27 Parnell Square North being fully restored and returned to public use. Roofing, mechanical and electrical and some ancillary works to the Hugh Lane Gallery are also included.
The contract for the incumbent design team led by Grafton and Shaffrey Architects was terminated in December 2021 following receipt of their fee proposal for the future design stages. Work has now progressed in the contract for the demolition of the Amharclann. Barnmore Demolition and Civil Engineering Ltd has been appointed to carry out the demolition and site investigation contact which will take approximately six months. Demolitions commenced in November 2022. The contract will be supervised on site by an experienced Senior Resident Engineer who will be supported by a number of consultants. The Senior Resident Engineer will continue to liaise with the local community, businesses and other stakeholders.
A Suitability Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) for the procurement of a multi-disciplinary design team to undertake detailed design, preparation of tender documents, procurement and supervision of the works on the new city library and the Hugh Lane Gallery works to handover stage has been completed. Documents will be issued shortly for the final stage of the procurement process.
In 2021, at the request of Dublin City Council, the design team led by Grafton and Shaffrey Architects was invited to submit a fee with an associated programme for the detailed design work stages etc. to project completion. DCC representatives met Grafton and Shaffrey Architects in September 2021 to ensure there was clarity around both the fee proposal and the programme submission. A fee and programme was submitted to DCC by the design team in October 2021.
Following a careful analysis of the submitted proposal, the steering board of the PSCQ decided not to accept the design team fee. This was communicated to Grafton and Shaffrey in December 2021.
The reason for the rejection, which was relayed to Grafton and Shaffrey, was that the fee proposed was unacceptable to DCC.
Only slightly. Dublin City Council owns the design and will proceed with the current design to comply with the planning permission granted.
Delivery of the project continues at pace and we hope to have phase 1 of the project complete by 2027.
It is anticipated that construction and commissioning stage will take two to three years once the construction procurement stage is complete. The project is estimated for completion in 2027. The original cost of Phase 1 was approximately €80 million excl. VAT in 2019. However, DCC is reviewing this figure in light of current market inflation costs and the addition of the Hugh Lane Gallery works package.
Dublin City Council, in collaboration with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government are committed to completion of the remaining phases of the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter. Details will be confirmed at a later stage.
Once the new City Library at the Parnell Square is ready, the Central Library in the ILAC will close and move to the new premises where it will have greater space, enhanced facilities and more services for the local community and visitors to the city.
Yes, Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane will be an integral part of the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter, housing as it does one of Ireland’s foremost collections of modern and contemporary art. Dublin City Libraries currently work closely with the Gallery on a day-to-day basis, collaborating on programming, education and outreach programmes. It is envisaged that this collaboration will continue to grow.
The buildings were taken into DCC’s ownership from the OPW which had acquired ownership as part of the Religious Orders Redress Scheme.
There was no fee for the transfer, however DCC transferred some sites in Finglas and Inchicore to the OPW as part of the process.
In accordance with the granted planning, it is proposed to remove parking and reduce the traffic lanes to the minimum width required for vehicle movements. This will calm traffic and re-balance the space in favour of pedestrian movements, giving space to allow activities. The redesigned space will re-establish the connection between the buildings of Parnell Square North and the Garden of Remembrance and the wider square. It is intended to utilise high quality materials similar to the O’Connell Street public realm works completed in 2006.
No, we don’t expect that there will be any impact and Dublin City Council will be open to working with the event organisers to facilitate the continued use of Parnell Square as a gathering point.
As with all major capital projects that the City Council is promoting a Project Governance Board has been established under the Chair of the Chief Executive: Members of the Board are:
Assistant Chief Executive Planning, Property Development/CRES; Parnell Square Project Manager; City Librarian; Executive Manager Finance; Executive Manager CRES; External Consultant.
A commitment has been given that a project update will be presented to every 2nd/3rd meeting of Arts, Culture, Leisure & Recreation SPC by a member of the Project Governance Board.