Demolishing 1970s City Centre Office Building Branded “A Disgrace”

Dublin - Stephen Court Building (middle with courtyard) - St Stephen's Green

The heritage of Dublin should be taken into consideration when major planning decision are being made.

So says architectural historian Emma Gilleece, after planning permission was granted for the demolition of the Stephen Court office complex on the northside of St. Stephen’s Green.

The 52-year-old building will make way for a new office block, totalling seven storeys in height.

Emma Gilleece says she doesn’t know how Dublin City Council can justify such an unnecessary and ‘disgraceful‘ decision

I don’t know its economists driving this change? Why aren’t our heritage officers and conservation officers in the room when these decisions are made? Many tourists come for architectural heritage and if you apply the same economic reasons to Trinity College or Dublin Castle then they should just be knocked down and made more quote competitive.”

Approval has been granted for the demolition of Stephen Court, the former home of Anglo Irish Bank.

It’s set to be replaced with a new, modern office complex, ranging from five to seven floors.

Emma Gilleece says it will further erode Dublin’s character and critically the demolition could cause environmental damage:

The building isn’t a protected structure and it should have been made protected but it joins other protected buildings and to be digging out the basement to create a two-level parking basement, it’s going to cause possibly irreparable damage to the mid-18th century buildings around it.”

The environmental considerations of the project are being wholly dismissed accordingEmma Gilleece:

In 2023 the architectural merits of this building, that’s case number one, but even number two, the real cost is the materials, the energy and the labour and the transport of materials to replace this building and if we really are in the midst of a climate crisis than this is not the way to go around it.”