Yesterday, the Custom House Tower in Cork was granted planning permission by Cork City Council. The 140m 34-storey hotel tower will be the tallest building not only in Cork but Ireland. It will revive the historic Custom House complex at the confluence of the River Lee, deliver an attractive new waterfront space for Cork and become a new symbol for the international growth aspirations of the city.
Urban Initiatives Studio was instrumental in securing the permission by establishing a tall building rationale for this development based on a robust and comprehensive study of the city. Our work developed a strategic approach to tall buildings in Cork City Centre, recognising recent development trends and policies, responding to the city’s sensitivities and considering other planned tall building schemes in the city, including the nearby Albert Quay tower (another UI studio project). Based on its geographic location, emerging character and prominence our analysis identified this site as highly suitable for a city landmark of exceptional height and purpose.
From early on in the project we worked closely with the team to ensure the aspiration for height was matched by a high quality design response, ensuring the scheme’s integration with the wider context, a sensitive response to the site’s heritage, and the delivery of new spaces and facilities for the people of Cork. The architects for the development are Gensler supported by local Irish practice Henry J Lyons.