Last year we missed the opportunity to mark 20 years of Blanchardstown shopping centre, which was completed in 1996. This year we decided to look back over 21 years. We sent out one member of the Graepels team to capture some recent photos of the shopping centre and report back.
The objective according to the centre’s website was “for the creation of a town centre at Blanchardstown, which had its genesis in the Dublin City Development Plan of 1972 which was the result of recommendations arising from a report undertaken by planning consultants in the 1960’s”.
Blanchardstown shopping centre is a two storey shopping mall and includes 120 shops, a variety of restaurants, and a nine screen multiplex cinema.
Wejchert Architects worked on 61,000m2 shopping centre with contractors Sisk and Sons Ltd. The four main entrances boast large pavilion structures with white steel in which the triangular perforated panels are attached. The white ‘sails’ are not purely for aesthetics but act as sun shades, particularly in the winter months when the sun is lower in the sky. Perforated panels like these would also contribute somewhat to the acoustics throughout the shopping centre.
The curved panels we speculate, act as ventilation or are perhaps disguising other services of the building. These were manufactured in 6.35mm perforations on 1.5mm thick material. Graepels involvement on the job incorporated two materials types throughout, including pre-galv and aluminium. Both the ‘sails’ and the ‘curved’ panels are finished to a high spec. including the fabrication work where the panels were rolled to radius or folded through the perforations, which is unusual. All panels are powder coated in a white RAL.
In our opinion we think the shopping centre has ‘aged’ well. The interior remains fresh and bright due to the natural light and ventilation. There is a harmonious result due to the careful consideration of internal finishes and natural light which compliment each other. The use of ceramic tile flooring, white plaster and light reflecting mirror offer a fresh, and crisp interior 21 years on. The design is low maintenance due to the consideration of materials throughout.
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