The Spire of Dublin

Ian Ritchie Architects, Dublin, 2003


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O'Connell Street looking north 

Donal Murphy Photography (website)     Download Original

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  • The spire looking up    
  • The pattened base of the spire    
  • Arial view of the base    
  • The base    
  • View of G.O.P from the base    
  • Snow view looking west from the Ian Ritchie Suite    
  • O    
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  • View from the River Liffey    
  • View from Custom House    
  • View from Custom House at dusk    
  • Cityscape view looking north    
  • Aerial view    
  • Arial view    
  • General arrangement plans    
  • General arrangement sections    
  • Arrangement plan and section at platform    
  • Fabrication of spire section    
  • Last lift erecting the monument    
  • Nose cone end    
  • Factory assembly of bronze base    
  • Competition entry perspective render    
  • Competition entry perspective render    
  • Aviation warning light detail    

Stainless steel spire as a monument to replace Nelson’s Pillar on O’Connell Street in Dublin, which was destroyed in 1966

The Spire is a circular cone 120 metres high and 3 metres in diameter at the base and breaks through the roof line of the surropunding buildings on O’Connell Street.

The width of 3 metres was considered optimal to allow the facades of Henry Street and Earl Street to frame the monument. A proportion of 1 to 40 was chosen for elegance, giving the tower a hieght of 120m.

Fabricated from rolled stainless steel plate the spire sways gently in the wind with internal active mass dampers placed to limit this movement.

At night the base is gently lit and the top twelve metres are illuminated by diodes from within to provide a beacon. The tip has a 2000 candela LED white aviation warning light.

The spire pasts through the 7m diameter cast bronze base that is set flush with the paving and has a varying depth spiral profile that recalls Celtic graphics and time.


  • Begun: Jul 2002
  • Completed: Jul 2003
  • Floor area: 39m2
  • Sector: Public realm
  • Total cost: £3.2M
  • Procurement: GDLA82 contract
  • Address: O’Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland

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