Open House for Google and RTÉ

Open House Preview_Google Docks_Google_Image 2

One of the best companies to work for or one that will slowly take over your life by feeding, watering and exercising you all whilst on the clock?

This is one of the questions often asked about Google who have their headquarters on nearby Barrow Street, locally known as ‘The Google Belt’. The newly constructed 14-storey Google Docks will feature as part of this year’s Open House Dublin, which runs from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th October 2013. The programme will feature 100 great buildings, with the tag line: ‘from the obvious to the overlooked’. Of those 100, four are in Dublin 4.

Designed by DEWG in conjunction with O’Mahony Pike architects, Google Docks is the tallest commercial building in Dublin and makes up part of Google’s European HQ campus on Barrow Street. Each of the 14 levels of the building has a different theme based on Google’s functions and policies. The offices are way more than just small cubicles, with a gym, alternative working spaces, informal meeting spaces and 360 degree views of Dublin.

The public will be able to see the offices of one of the most intriguing companies, without having to do three or four interviews to secure a job there.

Another first for the Open House Dublin programme is nearby RTÉ, designed by Scott Tallon Walker architects which was constructed in 1960 by Messrs. E. Stone & Sons Ltd. from Thorncastle Street in Ringsend. In 2009 RTÉ announced its long-term plans for the redevelopment of the entire Donnybrook site to replace most of the current 1960s and 1970s buildings there. This will be an opportunity to access the private grounds and see them as they stand today.

Opening its doors again this year is Donnybrook Bus Garage. Built in 1952 the construction was designed by Michael Scott with the Danish engineer Ove Arup and as such is part of our architectural canon in Ireland, yet would be more of the overlooked variety.

Also returning to the programme is Residence de France at 53 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge. Home to the French Ambassador since the 1930s, this will be an opportunity to voyeuristically see how the other half live.

Last year NewsFour featured Open House Dublin in our October issue and many of our readers complained that when we went to print most of the tours of buildings, locally and beyond, were booked up. NewsFour spoke to the Director of Irish Architecture Foundation Nathalie Weadick – who runs Open House Dublin – to see if this issue had been addressed. “Most buildings are open access across the weekend, which means all you need to do is turn up. To avoid disappointment, make sure you check the list of buildings to find out what buildings are open and at what times. We have removed the pre-booking system but a small percentage of buildings are pre-allocated through a lottery, and everyone can register for the lottery from the 4th of September on”

Google HQ, above, and Donnybrook Bus Garage.

By Emma Dwyer