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Bono Builds

DUBLIN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The U2 Tower Dublin will be the tallest building in Ireland. Situated on the quayside within the Dublin Docklands redevelopment area, this striking 35-storey tower rises some 120m above the River Liffey. The building comprises 30 floors of luxury two and three bedroom duplex apartments and the new recording studios of the rock band U2 over the upper floors. Parking is provided in a two-storey basement.

The dramatic twisting geometry of the tower poses a significant structural engineering challenge. Square 24m x 24m floor plates twist by an equal amount per storey about a circular core, housing lifts and services risers as well as a dedicated lift to speed U2 to their studio. The overall twist of the tower from ground to roof is 45°. A novel solution of inclined columns allows the visual impact of the structure to be minimized enabling the architectural vision of a ‘transparent’ building to be achieved. Columns are positioned away from corners adding to the drama with thin cantilevered slab edges. Warped glass façade panels complete the building envelope, following the twisted geometry.

The provision of U2’s new recording studio at the top of the building places stringent acoustic criteria on the design. While the studio itself must meet the acoustic standards required for recording music, the residents of the apartments below must also be isolated from airborne and impact created noise. This requirement influences the structural design, as elements of the building must be isolated in this zone.
The building’s close proximity to the River Liffey quay wall, a protected historic monument, calls for complex geotechnical computer modelling of ground effects due to the mass of the tower bearing on the adjacent soil strata. Working closely with the structural engineers, Hyder’s geotechnical specialists have developed a strategy to ensure the monument will be unaffected by the development.

The building is due for completion in 2008 –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers