The Prism: A €20 million landmark investment in Cork


The Cork Business Association wholeheartedly welcomes the news of the €20 million, 15 storey, iconic glass fronted triangular office building which is planned for a brownfield site just yards from the Parnell Place bus station on the edge of Cork’s docklands.


Kerrymen, Kevin and Donal O’Sullivan, the owners and developers of the Port of Cork, Custom House site, have this month completed the purchase of a nearby 310 square metre triangular site on Clontarf Street that has remained unused for decades.


Tower Holdings Group, owned by Kevin O’Sullivan, will oversee the development of the proposed commercial building. On Wednesday May 16th an application was lodged with Cork City Council seeking full planning permission to build the 5,900 square metre office development on the site.


The Prism Building on Clontarf Street has been designed by Cork based architects Reddy Architecture + Urbanism to produce a light filled glass office building on a cross-city corridor.


Tower Holdings Group president Kevin O’Sullivan said the Clontarf Street development fits in with plans for the revitalisation of the heart of the city and will give a long-awaited boost to this corner of the city.


“We are very excited about this development. Our aim is to build a slender, elegant, transparent glass structure that is as much a piece of sculpture as it is a building. The development of The Prism Building will enhance a neglected, yet strategic, area of the city with a light filled building, providing a state of the art modern office building which is very much in demand in Cork City.


“Our hope is that this development will enhance and enliven the local area, acting as a catalyst for the development of nearby sites. It will become a location marker for a rejuvenated city quarter, providing a much-needed link between the city centre and the docklands,” he added.


Architect Seán Kearns said the iconic Flatiron Building on New York’s Fifth Avenue was one of the inspirations for the Clontarf Street development.


“Through the height and shape of the building our goal is to produce an iconic piece of architecture that has a sense of bravura in the use of cantilevers and curved high-tech glass that we believe will be an attractive and iconic addition to Cork City’s projected growing skyline.


“The façade will have floor-to-ceiling super clear vision glass providing the optimum combination of very high light transparency with low-reflectivity, with solar protection and thermal insulation for a pleasant indoor climate throughout the year. The glass walls will be complimented with a textured stainless steel element, adding to the ‘crystalline’ effect of the overall building,” he said


The Kerrymen are also at an advanced stage of pre-planning consultation with Cork City Council for a separate €250m, multi-storey hotel and apartment development on the nearby Custom House site which they acquired last year.


Mr O’Sullivan said that given the complexity and intricacy of the Custom House project, the developers have assembled an international team of consultants, and allotted additional time to the project. In consultation with Cork City Council the design team are working to protect the integrity of the historic site and its buildings, to enable them tender a design worthy of the site.


Cork Business Association are very excited by the prospect of this new development and look forward to seeing work begin on this project in the near future.