Johnny Ronan plans Dublin's tallest building

It's one of a cluster of new developments along the Liffey...

Johnny Ronan plans Dublin's tallest building

Picture by: Artur Widak/SIPA USA/PA Images

Now disentangled from NAMA a couple of years, Johnny Ronan is back thinking big again – and he's ready to leave his mark on Dublin's skyline.

According to The Irish Times, the controversial developer is lodging plans to create Dublin's tallest building, complete with a top floor bar and restaurant with unbeatable panoramic views of the capital as its selling point.

The tower development would sit on a site adjoining Tara Street railway station and contain a 110-bedroom hotel, as well as a restaurant/cafe terrace on the ground floor.

At a height of 88 metres (close to 290ft), its 17 storeys would tower above both the historically imposing Liberty Hall (59m or 194ft) and the current holder of the tallest building title, Google's Grand Canal Dock headquarters "Monte Vetro" (67m or 220ft). 

The proposed "Tara House" was designed by HJL Architects with the intention of making it a "landmark gateway" between Dublin's historic core and the contemporary architectural approach favoured in the Docklands. 

The 17-storey tower is set to stand on a five-storey wedge-shaped podium, with the scheme providing 11,800sq m (127,000sq ft) of floorspace overall. It will also offer a new entrance to the train station via a street level "pedestrian colonnade".

The top floor bar and restaurant would boast a strikingly tall floor-to-ceiling height of 4.6m, expressed as a "lantern".

Paul Finch, chairman of the British government’s Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, headed a design review panel for Tara House. He was assisted by architects Simon Allford, Robin Mandal and Des McMahon, and architectural historian Dr Edward McParland.

It concluded that it should aim to “achieve a timeless design, rather than a flashy ‘icon’ to make this building so obviously different from anything else in the city that it has to be assessed as a special case, not just another commercial development."

The panel also said that the relative skyscraper “would need to be of the highest design quality, a jewel on the skyline... to deflect criticism of the effect of the tower on other city landmarks.”