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Category Winner


Merrion Road Residential Development




Multi Residential Design and Architecture

Structures & Spaces


Dalata Hotel Group


Architect/Designer: MOLA Architecture

Client: Dalata Hotel Group

Project Manager & Quantity Surveyor: Duke McCaffrey Consulting

Contractor: McAleer & Rushe

M&E Engineers: Patrick McCaul Environmental Consulting Engineers

Structural & Civil Engineers: Barrett Mahony Consulting Engineers

Fire Safety & Access Consultants: Maurice Johnson & Partners

Landscape Architects: Áit Urbanism + Landscape (Planning), David Clarke Landscape Architect (Delivery)

Interior Design: Sundara Design

Photography: Donald Murphy, Joe Laverty



Windows & Curtain Walling: Clarke Facades
Stone Cladding: Stone Systems
Brick: Kingscourt Country Manor
Roof Supplier: Bauder


The success of the Merrion Road project owes much to the exceptional collaboration of our dedicated design team. Throughout the project’s journey, our team members, each bringing their unique expertise and creative insights, worked seamlessly together, demonstrating a remarkable synergy. Architects, engineers, interior designers, and contractors joined forces, pooling their talents and knowledge to envision and execute a design that not only met but exceeded our goals and Client’s expectations. This harmonious collaboration not only resulted in a stunning and sustainable hotel but also showcased the power of teamwork in transforming a vision into reality.

Design Challenge and Design Ideas

The Merrion Road Development replaces the Tara Towers Hotel on Merrion Road in Dublin 4 and also includes a scheme of 69 apartments and townhouses on the remainder of the site.
The site occupies a prominent and dramatic bay-side position overlooking Booterstown Marsh and Dublin Bay towards Howth Head. The new hotel comprises of an 8 storey, 140 bed pavilion facing Dublin Bay across Merrion Road, with the residential block stepping from 4 to 6 storeys located to the rear of the hotel over a podium/basement car park. A terrace of 5 townhouses with a smaller apartment building and landscaped gardens complete the Development on the former car park site.
Our main challenge was to create a design that is responsive to the site, minimizing impact on the immediate context while clearly distinguishing the hotel and residential elements. We achieved this with a layout enabling their separate, discreet coexistence.

How the brief was fulfilled

The Merrion Road Development serves as an excellent example of how regenerated sites can be seen and conceived holistically, creating a “place” greater and more enriching than the sum of its parts.

The developed scheme addresses, activates, and completes the principal frontages of Merrion Road and Bellevue Avenue, generating a positive impression with a civic presence and public face for the hotel, and a distinctive, varied, and attractive expression for the residential component.

Our design objective was to maximise sea views by orienting the majority of apartment living spaces and external balconies toward the south or west. We achieved this through full-height and extensive glazing, which maximises natural light, sunlight, and passive ventilation, creating comfortable and healthy indoor environments. Sustainability was a fundamental consideration throughout the entire design process, with the use of carefully selected, high-quality sustainable materials and finishes setting the project apart. Additionally, the development boasts abundant, meticulously landscaped shared amenity spaces, common gardens, and secure access points.

A splayed corner marks the apartment reception area and concierge desk at ground floor level. Overhead, six storeys of apartments progressively decrease in height as the building stretches westward. This establishes a horizontal emphasis, with layers of apartments separated by off-white stone cladding bands defining the floor levels, emphasising the building’s linearity. These bands are infilled variously by honey-coloured solid brick panels alternating with full-height windows and deeply recessed balconies in an apparently random pattern, articulating further the contrast in architectural treatment between the hotel and residential elements.

The highly modulated and irregular arrangement of solid and void reveals the diverse nature of the units behind the facade. No two floors are the same, and the elevational treatment celebrates this diversity. The movement of the elements in the facade’s composition reflects the dynamic sinuous plan form.

As the building’s residential component crosses over Bellevue Avenue, brickwork becomes the dominant material, erasing any remnants of the granite. This material transition not only creates a cohesive aesthetic but also clearly differentiates the hotel from the residential components.


A contemporary, cleanlined and minimal interior. Beautifully resolved timeless architectural response.



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