Eoin Condren: Donnybrook House - The next chapter in U+I's Dublin story


I don’t just say this as a Dubliner, but the Dublin market is an extremely exciting one. 

The last few weeks have been busy for U+I on the Dublin front as we made a number of exciting announcements regarding our ever-expanding pipeline of live projects. I don’t just say this as a Dubliner, but the Dublin market is an extremely exciting one for us, one of our key strategic markets where we have ambitious plans for the future.

In Dublin, we see many of the same characteristics that attract us to London and Manchester. Dublin is a thriving hub for firms in the technology and media-communications sectors, with the top 5 tech firms in the world currently occupying almost 5% of commercial office space in the city. This has brought a new vibrancy and innovation to the city and with it, a demand for top-quality, imaginative and purpose-built developments.

To-date, we have had some significant commercial successes in Dublin which have cemented our foothold there, including the impressive Vertium building which we recently let to Amazon in one of the largest commercial lettings for a number of years.

On the back of such successes came last week’s launch of our flagship mixed-use, Donnybrook House development (DBH) in Dublin 4. Through a bold redesign we have breathed new life into this iconic building in the heart of Dublin’s upmarket Donnybrook Village; a building which had lain vacant for many years, but where we recognised huge potential. DBH will cater for a new generation of both entrepreneurs and corporates to work and thrive. Offering 45,000 sq. ft. of office space over 4 floors, along with a 4,000 sq. ft. restaurant, 2,000 sq. ft. café and 18,000 sq. ft. of gym facilities.

Just as history helps to define a nation, so too, on a smaller scale, should it help define and shape the places that we create. The buildings we create must take inspiration from the local community and embrace local history to reflect the fabric of the communities in which they are located.

With this in mind, we felt that Donnybrook’s long and colourful heritage should be celebrated, and so, taking inspiration from the site’s history, we have created a bespoke piece of artwork which now hangs in the reception. This artwork reflects the building’s history as a credit card centre, by using a collage of credit cards to portray representations of three historical Donnybrook residents: Nobel prize-winning inventor of the radio Guglielmo Marconi; inventor of the pneumatic tyre John Boyd Dunlop; and celebrated Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh.

This piece showcases Donnybrook’s history for future occupiers and visitors, ensuring that its rich history remains a living component of its future use.

DBH marks another chapter in U+I’s Dublin story, and like the best stories, we foresee exciting possibilities for the use of imagination, if we are bold enough to explore them.