Ballast House, which stands on the corner of Aston Quay and Westmoreland Street, is one of Ireland’s best-known buildings. It featured in James Joyce’s most famous novel, Ulysses, and although the great bronze Timeball to which Leopold Bloom refers no longer stands on the roof, the exterior of the building itself is otherwise largely unchanged and makes it one of the landmarks of this part of Dublin.
Any work in such a prestigious site calls for the best, which is why Pembroke Hall looked to Doyle Interior Systems for their project in Ballast House.
Office Partitions were the obvious choice to supply the components. The two companies have worked together in the past on assignments large and small, and their requirements for the Ballast House plan was very clear; acoustic performing glazed partitions of the best quality and the appearance was to be a major factor.
Doyle, therefore, commissioned Office Partitions to provide doors and framesets in white oak that fitted their tried and tested system, and all worked beautifully.
The double glazed frameless partitions were Saint-Gobain Click, which has a DB rating of 47. The custom joinery was an attractive dark grey Formica with real oak lippings, door leafs, and frames.
There were problems. One of them was the short lead time; within five weeks Office Partitions had to produce twenty-five custom door sets, manufacture 155 pieces of glass and obtain the aluminum tracks for the design of the frameless partitions.
These are bulky and heavy items, and they had to be delivered to a very busy site. We were required to keep the disruption to traffic and pedestrians to a minimum, and on the busy O’Connell Bridge, this required precise planning and detailed liaison with both suppliers and transport teams. Not only did we quite frequently meet at the site at 5.00 a.m., we had to be sure that the materials were delivered to the correct location in Ballast House, as we were working on five floors. The accuracy of the material labelling was very important, but the time spent in checking the labelling and ensuring the pallets were delivered to the correct location was not wasted.
The project was completed on time, within the specifications, and, perhaps most importantly of all, it looks great.