• Colored panels denote collaboration & social spaces

  • The light filled 150 seat restaurant

  • A vibrant space for people to meet


This is a 70,000ft2 fit-out for Novartis’s European Business Centre in Block C, Elm Park – a landmark building at the centre of the Elm Park development, 8 storeys high with stunning views over Dublin Bay and the Dublin mountains.

The base building informed the design and the character of the Novartis space more than is usual – it is a naturally ventilated building with exposed concrete soffits throughout the floorplates, and a triple glazed facade to the west with active solar shading. A lot of effort went into the alignment of the design with the buildings’ cooling and ventilation strategy- this affected the location of cellular spaces, the routing of services and the positioning of major spaces. The aim was to create calm, light filled working areas with vibrant, connected spaces for people to meet.

The building includes a 150 seat restaurant, a cafe opening onto a winter garden overlooking Dublin Bay, a training centre, and a staircase connecting the public areas of the building through the atrium above reception.

Many of the key design objectives arose from the nature of the building, and two characteristics in particular - the plan layout and the HVAC strategy. The building was designed as a speculative office capable of being sub-let into 3 separate tenancies on each of the 7 storeys above ground. The 3 blocks are separated by cores, each of which contains lifts, toilets, and a west facing atrium spanning the full height of the building and separating the blocks. Each block is cooled by means of air drawn through a series of manual and automated vents from the eastern, sawtooth facade across the 15m wide floorplate into the triple glazed facade on the west which acts as a chimney drawing air upwards to the vent at roof level . The raised floor void is unusually deep, to contain heating elements, and the ceiling is made of precast, scalloped RC panels providing thermal and also acoustic performance.

The materials and finishes strategy is linked by common colours in the field carpet, with each floor given its own identity through full wall, abstract graphics, routed mdf wall cladding panels to provide relief, and acoustic wall panelling. Generally there are no ceilings - only suspended acoustic panels, coloured to denote informal collaboration or social spaces, monochrome in formal meeting rooms. The approach to new construction is as minimal as possible in terms of both energy consumption and actual scope - new wall, floor or ceiling finishes are provided only where there is a performance requirement.





Merrion Road, Dublin 4