Dublin Airport is high on the list of Europe’s busiest airports, welcoming over 31.5 million passengers in 2018. Recognising the need for a new control tower to facilitate parallel runway operations by 2021, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) set out to provide an elegant, modern structure, to align with the professionalism of its organisation, and become a significant feature on the Dublin skyline. As it is a fundamental part of the national infrastructure, the IAA engaged the experienced Linesight team to manage costs on the project.
Linesight is providing Cost Management services on the facility, which is within the domain of the current air traffic control facilities at Dublin Airport. Standing at 86.9m, the tower will be one of Ireland’s tallest structures. The project also includes the demolition and removal of an existing derelict house; the demolition of an existing car park and the construction of a new adjacent car park; the upgrade of security infrastructure including, significant service diversions and the installation of a new landscaping scheme surrounding the new facility.
The new facility comprises two main elements: the cab (including the Visual Control Room or VCR) and its associated support facilities. In order to provide a slim, elegant structure, and in an effort to keep the tower as light and elegant as possible, most of the support accommodation (technical rooms and associated plant) has been separated from the tower and is located in a single-storey support facility at ground level. The separation of the tower and support accommodation ensures that the free-standing quality of the tower is unaffected and consequently the new facility appears as two distinct elements, each containing their own distinct functions.
The cab structure itself comprises five levels, and contains essential technical facilities/staff accommodation, plant space, technical equipment, maintenance facilities, and the VCR itself. The tapering cone shape of the cab is a result of the spatial requirements of the various functions at each level, and their relationship (in terms of proximity) to the VCR. The support shaft to the cab is an essential element of the structure and considerable effort has gone into making it appear as slender and unobtrusive as possible. Its triangular plan form derives from the three modes of vertical circulation from bottom to top; the two lifts and the single escape stairway.