01/06/2009

Belfast £75m Obel Tower: One Year On

It has been described as a new era for Belfast architecture, and one year on since the first foundation stone was laid, the Obel Tower is already a recognisable feature on the city's skyline.

Touted as one of Ireland's tallest buildings, the obelisk-shaped structure is rapidly taking form.

Contractor O'Hare & McGovern Ltd has said work is now well underway, having recently been selected by Constructing Excellence in Northern Ireland as a demonstration of Design Quality using Modern Methods of Construction.

The £75m super structure has been developed by Donegall Quay Ltd and is set to transform the banks of the River Lagan.

The Broadway Malyan designed tower will feature 282 apartments; 41,000 sqft of office space with eateries and destination retail on the ground floor.

The process to date has involved an enormous effort from all parties involved particularly the developer, Karl Properties Limited, who back in June 2002 signed a Development Brief with Laganside Corporation for the regeneration of the land at Donegall Quay.

In November 2003 full planning permission was granted for a mixed use design based on a 18-storey tower with adjoining seven-storey building, this design was subsequently revised by architects Broadway Malyan, with a new application submitted in April 2004, for a 26-storey tower, adjoining an eight-storey hotel and seven-storey office building.

It was in January 2005 that Planning Service approved that proposed development, which then lead to the design team submitting a new planning application in autumn 2006 for a 28-storey tower with further residential apartments in the original hotel building, whilst having no change to the office building adjacent to Custom House.

O'Hare & McGovern has been on site for one year now, and the public can easily see the building's progression as it now reaches for the sky.

Obel is a challenging project for the NI construction industry as Eamon O’Hare, Managing Director of O'Hare & McGovern explained: "The Obel development requires expertise within every area of construction.

"With over 30 years experience of landmark infrastructure projects our company has the necessary skills to complete the development on time and on budget," he said.

"The project will require a massive effort from all involved in the project but on completion we will have an iconic building that we’ll all be able to have tremendous pride in."

(PR/BMcC)

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