Client: O’ Callaghan Properties
Architect: Project Architects, specialists in commercial development
As conservation consultants to the Opera Lane development, Southgate Associates defined not only a conservation brief but a development brief defining building height contours, setbacks and historic plot boundaries to ensure that the new development harmonised with the historic urban grain and landscape in accordance with International conservation best practice (the ICOMOS Burra Charter 1999) and good urban design principles. The project involved a new street, Opera Lane, together with the redevelopment of Academy Street East, part of Patrick Street, Emmet Place and Bowling Green Street. The development opened up a new successful trend for apartment living in the city centre as well as a highly successful commercial development at the heart of the city.
A policy of tension and relief allowed development goals to be met, while providing an attractive place to live and shop together with good practice conservation values and a sense of living history, evidenced by the successful adaptive reuse of significant heritage buildings such as the early 18th century building at 11 Emmet Place as a Starbucks café. Here best practice conservation principles were applied to the building envelope, together with the removal of an inappropriate 1970s interior, which provided the perfect setting for a bustling active café in the cultural heart of Cork, alongside the Crawford Gallery and Opera House on Emmet Place.