Fingal County Council is a local authority north of Dublin city. The council serves a population of over 270,000 with one of the youngest demographics and fastest growing populations in the country.
The design of modern civic offices invites an architectural response which expresses the council’s values of openness and excellence in public service delivery, accommodating the demands of an intensively used public building while providing a high quality working environment for staff. However, the selected suburban backland site also presented challenges to the creation of a building with civic presence.
The public face of the building comprises a striking curved wing which addresses a civic space flanked by the Council’s arts and library buildings. Hard and soft landscaping and lighting define the pedestrian link to the town centre beyond.
The scheme comprises four 4-storey office blocks unified by a spine of full height glazed atria. Designed for energy efficiency, the office space is primarily naturally ventilated through user operable windows, supplemented by a mixed-mode displacement ventilation system and heat exchanger. Exposed concrete soffits provide passive cooling, avoiding the need for air conditioning.
Measuring over 16,700sqm, the building achieved a net:gross ratio of 78% - a creditable achievement in a building where public assembly and circulation space forms such a large part of the brief.
Only two of the building’s four blocks are presently occupied by the council. The other two are let on a speculative basis, but provide ample scope for future expansion of council services in this area which is set to accommodate much of Dublin city’s population growth over the coming decades.