Developing a Vision for Parnell Square Cultural Quarter

Dublin is many cities at once, its many identities layered on top of each other, all drawn onto the same map; a tech hub, a UNESCO city of literature, a cultural powerhouse, a thousand-year-old capital of a state a hundred years young. It is a city that thrives on stories and now Dublin is writing a new story.

We are creating a dynamic cultural quarter in the heart of the city at Parnell Square. This bold and visionary project will fulfil the City’s ambitions for a ‘Civic Spine’ connecting the capital’s key historic places. It will be a new public landmark; a destination that will inspire physical and economic renewal; aspire to the ethos of interculturalism; a place for all to meet, learn, create and exchange. Parnell Square is the first and finest of Dublin’s Georgian Squares and a place where Ireland’s independence is celebrated. The area has a rich and important history; its philanthropic origins underpinned the growth of Georgian Dublin. Today, as home to national and international institutions, it is identified in the City’s Development Plan as a fitting place to create a vibrant cultural quarter.

A new City Library will be built beside the existing renowned Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. These will anchor a range of complementary creative experiences – from music to media – all connected by a new civic plaza. This will be a public place, an opportunity for everyone to engage and participate in the many strands of culture that are fundamental to the city. There will be an emphasis on facilities and support for young people. It will be an opportunity for personal transformation, a dynamic place of integration and exchange. This new destination will draw Dubliners and visitors of all ages and interests. The streets around will be revitalised by new footfall, new ideas and new conversations, all inspiring new opportunities.

In the tradition of philanthropy in which Parnell Square was developed in the 18th Century, this new project is being developed by Dublin City Council in association with private funding partners. Kennedy Wilson have undertaken to provide seed financing for the initial stages of the project and will lead the campaign to raise the philanthropic funding required to complete the construction work.

The new complex will be a fusion of contemporary and historic architecture, a screen of fine period rooms through which you will pass into outstanding free flowing light filled spaces. Located on the elevated north side of the Square, its south facing rooms will enjoy breathtaking views across the city to the Dublin Mountains.

This is just the start of the vision. The consultation process to explore what this place can be is just beginning.

To find out more about the project go to: www.dublincity.ie/parnellsquare