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Larsen plans 'ambitious' diamond tower for Dublin

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Danish starchitect Henning Larsen has unveiled plans for a 37-storey diamond-shaped tower in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Larsen's Copenhagen-based practice, Henning Larsen Architects, is working for Irish developer Mountbrook Group on the mixed-use scheme that covers a 3ha site on and around the city's Pembroke Road.

In addition to the 132m-tall tower, the scheme will include an underground shopping centre, an embassy complex - to accommodate the relocation of some of the 29 embassies currently in Ballsbridge - office accommodation, a 232-bed hotel, ice rink and new cultural quarter which will include a cinema and galleries.

Mountbrook paid Eu378 million (£256 million) for the site in 2005 - an Irish record at the time - and a spokesman for the developer admitted the high-profile scheme was likely to cause controversy.

He said: 'The height of the scheme is likely to cause objections. It is a very ambitious piece of architecture compared to the surrounding environment, which includes Georgian houses and some poor standard 1960s buildings.'

The spokesman denied that Mountbrook was expecting the scheme to be cut back and added: 'This is an ambitious proposal and we are hoping that Ballsbridge will get an ambitious and audacious reality'.

Mountbrook expects the planning process to take around 15 months.

by Max Thompson

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