Thomas P. MontAlto Architecture
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competition submission2003

A mix of transparency and translucency combine in this all glass modernist composition, designed as an icon in the landscape of the Docklands, which rises in three parts to the “ main parapet” level at a height of 50 meters above the street. Above this level U2 recording studios rise to the south at 45 degrees to a height of approximately 85 meters. The bands environment includes an acoustic glass recording studio and several levels of terraced mezzanine balconies that step back along the angle of the glass roof atop the tower. Penetrating the tower, at the level of the studio is a parallelogram cut-out that contains the sky- garden. The majority of the south point block element contains flexible commercial office space. The northern point block element is devoted to residential occupancy. Accommodation is possible for several sizes and configurations of flats ranging from small studio apartments to multistory mezzanine units. Connecting the two primary point block elements a glass-enclosed hall rises above the podium to the level of the main parapet. Elevator lobbies, connector bridge conference spaces and apartments all surround and look into this central space which serves to disaggregate and dematerialize the mass of the composition from the exterior. Ground level contains the main building lobby with its sub lobbies for commercial and residential occupants. The bar, nightclub and restaurant are also located on the ground level and on the first floor above. The first floor nightclub features a glass dance floor suspended in the central hall and a terraced dinning room for the restaurant centered on the bandstand. The bandstand, a rotated cube, cantilevers out towards the Dodder River and is visible from both levels of the club and from the riverside. The bar and central stair for the club, along with a large hearth are housed in the wedge to the east, facing the Dodder. Outdoor dinning areas flank the northeast and northwest corners at ground level, allowing for café style interaction with the street and a view of the intersection of the two rivers. All vehicular traffic enters the site from the Britain Quay. A covered pedestrian drop off at the main entrance, a private arrival court for the band, entrance to the subterranean parking facility and access to the loading dock and service building are all located behind the sloping wall that forms the visual base of the complex from the west. Below grade parking for 35 cars and 45 scooters surrounds separate elevator lobbies for the residential and the commercial occupants. The band has their own private garage, lobby and elevator which gives them direct, discreet and private access to the ground floor, the nightclub at level one and to the levels of the recording studio atop the south point-block.


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