A PETITION has been started to persuade UCC not to demolish a disused industrial building off Cork’s North Mall. The college wants to to clear a site for a major new nanoelectronics research Tyndall National Institute building facing the current Tyndall centre which employs 600, and generates €30 million a year in research grants.
The third level institute, which runs the flagship Tyndall, has sought planning permission for a 180,000 sq ft new research building, from four to seven storeys, on the leafy Distillery Fields, to be linked to the existing institute which includes old maltings buildings on the city end of the Mardyke.
Part of the plan envisages demolition of what’s widely regarded as an example of classic 1960s architecture, done in 1964 by leading Cork architect Frank Murphy, who won a Europa Nostra medal in 1975 for his body of work, including 1 South Mall, and Thompson House on MaCurtain Street.
The long structure, Murphy's largest, is not listed, but has featured in a number of publications (including Irish Examiner features) and theses.
Ironically, Frank Murphy was a noted national campaigner for preservation of important buildings.
Both modernist and conservation-minded, he set up the Cork Preservation Society in 1968 to preserve Cork’s threatened heritage, starting with Skiddy’s Almshouse in Shandon, as well as Doneraile Court (now finally reopened by the OPW)and was an advisor to the Irish Georgian Society and An Taisce.