The award winning Avolon project in Ballsbridge Dublin 2 was the next step in Avolon’s growth, as their existing office space could no longer keep up, not only in physical capacity but also in matching the level of innovation and sophistication such a successful firm cultivates.
The new, six-storey headquarters in a newly built commercial building features a central staircase that leads visitors from level 2 up through levels of offices and meeting spaces, culminating in two floors of executive suites, a café and a striking, double-height auditorium in the sky.
Building the auditorium, says project director John Atkinson, was by far the most complicated part of the project. “To create the semicircle of a two-storey auditorium, we had to remove large parts of the existing slab and four reinforced structural concrete columns,” he says. “When you’re moving such key elements of a structure, what do you put in their place?”
The auditorium was built in the following sequence:
1. Bolt and adhere steel spanner plates under levels 4 and 5 and on top of the level 5 slab to support structural openings for the stairs and compensate for the removed structures.
2. Begin cutting out the openings for the stairs, working from level 5 downwards.
3. Construct a platform over the opening to support back propping for the auditorium opening.
4. Install Macalloy beams and tension rods to the underside of the roof slab to replace the large portions of existing slab and four reinforced concrete columns that were to be removed to form the auditorium slab opening.
5. Hydraulically tension the Macalloy beams and tension rods.
6. Remove the two reinforced concrete columns at level 6 using a Brokk concrete breaker. The level of the underside of the roof slab was continually monitored during demolition to check potential deflections.
7. Remove the level 6 slab by saw cutting and concrete breaking followed by two further columns on level 5.
8. Install a tiered steel frame within the opening for the auditorium to provide structural support for the perimeter of the new opening and a backbone for the tiered seating in the auditorium.
9. Form a concrete beam to the perimeter of the auditorium opening after further breaking back the edge concrete and tying into the existing reinforcement steel.
10. Begin installing the prefabricated stairs sections on level 2, working up to level 5.
Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 2
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