The Dublin Docklands project was a submission for a 2002 design competition for the U2 Tower in Dublin. Located at the seaward edge of Dublin’s commercial center, at the entrance to the Grand Canal Dock on the River Liffey, SAGA’s design draws heavily on the imagery of the Viking longboats that arrived in Dublin twelve centuries prior.
In tune with the music of U2, the tower juggles with 2 primary formal themes – striving to achieve the verticality of a landmark while embracing the emotive horizontal movement of the wind and sea. The first 2 floors create an entertainment district, complete with waterfront dining, U2 Mart retail, a bar (laid out in the shape of a heart) and nightclub. On the exterior of the building, a large perforated metal screen announcing “Dublin Docklands” moves up and down the side of the building with the tide.
Apartments are staggered to provide each unit with spectacular views upstream to the city center and downstream to Dublin Bay. Further embracing the building’s waterfront location, the fifth floor lobby opens into a communal space and roof garden. Referencing U2’s music, the 5th floor roof deck is etched with the outline of the famous Joshua tree (Joshua Tree is the name of U2’s 5th album with over 25 million copies sold).
U2’s recording studio sits atop the building, connected to a smaller roof deck. From this perch, Dublin and Ireland’s most iconic rock band would be “in residence” with a commanding view of the city.