The Town Centre was built around two listed historic 400 year-old structures known as the Millpond and Millhouse which have been retained and refurbished to become the main features in the creation of one of the main public spaces of the development.
As listed structures all works were required to be co-ordinated and managed in conjunction with the appointed Archaeologist Margaret McGowan and with regard to two preserved trees the Landscape Architects Mitchell & Associates. The works involved the reinstatement of stone walls, penstock valves, pond floor, lintels, doors, windows, gutters, roofing etc.
Prior to any works commencing meetings were held with the archaeologist to establish what works were to be carried out, how these were to be undertaken, what materials/methods required prior approval and at what stages or hold points did the archaeologist need to inspect and review.
Quite a number of samples of existing materials were taken away for testing to establish correct replacement elements for the re-building. Most of the works were carried out by hand using our own specialist stonemasons or specialist subcontractors.
Multiple finishes were used both externally and internally including stone facade, Trespa cladding, elaborate glazing and traditional render. Marble flooring used throughout main shopping concourse. Complex ICT/AV/Security systems throughout to cater for individual retailers, apartment owners and the town centre in general.
At the peak of rock removal there were three blasts per week. The project is situated in a built-up residential area. All of the work was carried out in accordance with the Environmental Impact Statement and in accordance with the company’s Environmental Management System. Noise, dust and vibrations were continually monitored for compliance with requirements. Much of the granite was crushed and recycled for re-use on site.
The shell and core construction for the 12-screen cinema complex was completed by Sisk as part of the overall contract for the Town Centre project (€420m).
The block comprised a 9-storey steel frame with metal deck and in situ concrete floor slabs building over a triple basement formed with RC retaining walls. The structure included the world’s first use of a Corus Bi-Steel double core system forming the main glazed lift shaft structure.
The 12 cinemas are located from the ground floor through the three basement levels. Fit out elements included acoustic walls and tiered seating. Also included was full fit out to the internal entrance lobby. Elsewhere shell units were constructed for restaurants, retail space and a pub and nightclub. A staff canteen and administration areas were provided on the 7th floor for adjacent House of Fraser store.
Extensive enabling works included construction of a section of the Dundrum Bypass; demolition of existing structures; diversion of the River Slang; diversions of a multitude of services and various drainage and ancillary works.
The works consisted of demolition of existing structures, removal of approx 250,000m3 of granite, reinforced concrete foundations, staircases and retaining walls of up to 1.5m thick, a new reinforced concrete viaduct to carry the diverted river, diversions of a multitude of services and various drainage and ancillary works. The largest basement pour was 900m3 in one day.
The first key issue was the assessment of time required to undertake unknown and unquantifiable works so that a manageable programme could be established to ensure no delays to the main development but also allowing enough time to ensure refurbishment works were carried out to the exacting standards of the archaeologist.
Some of these standards required working samples to be completed for approval by the archaeologist prior to full commencement. Material selection and replacement was tedious with considerably long lead in periods as we were dealing with specialist products.
Stabilisation of the existing structures had to be well conceived and checked prior to any refurbishment works being carried out. A large section of the existing pond stone wall had to be rebuilt and was then subsequently protected for future posterity by casting an R.C. structure in front of same without displacement of the original stones.