Developers asked to retain parts of Cork's iconic R&H Hall silos

The buildings have been a dominant and iconic feature of the Cork skyline for decades
Developers asked to retain parts of Cork's iconic R&H Hall silos

The R&H Hall building on Kennedy Quay, Cork. The silos are slated for demolition. Picture Dan Linehan

The developers planning to revitalise the south docks in Cork city have been asked to consider retaining a portion of the R&H Hall silos in order to illustrate their original function.

Planners at Cork City Hall have issued a 14-page document to O'Callaghan Properties, through Leeside Quays Ltd, seeking additional information on a number of aspects of the ambitious plans to redevelop the 1.437ha area on Kennedy Quay.

The proposals include a mixed-use development of four new buildings and the conversion of the Odlum's Building (a protected structure). The project would also see the demolition of the R&H Hall silo buildings.

The new developments would include four buildings ranging from nine to 12 storeys, including retail aspects, some 80 apartments, a cafe, and offices.

The Odlum's Building would be used for retail and/or cafe use, as well as potential conference facilities, a cinema, and a further apartment element, including some 84 units.

A view of the proposed development on Kennedy Quay. 
A view of the proposed development on Kennedy Quay. 

Among the elements identified in the request are questions about water and hydrology, traffic and transport, and the material assets, including waste and utilities.

A dominant and iconic feature of the Cork skyline, the R&H Hall silos are slated for demolition but planners but the developer has been asked to provide "a financial overview" of the potential retention of the full height of the building.

"It seems that R&H Hall is technically deteriorating as a structure and that its retention is not economically viable," planners wrote.

"Given the successful re-use of some silos internationally it would be ideal that some elements of the silo illustrating its scale be retained to acknowledge its significance and keep a strong sense of place. A financial overview of the cost implications of retaining a full-height portion of R&H Hall through re-enforcement of the existing structure is requested to be provided to demonstrate the full implication of reuse of parts of the structure and this will better inform a decision."

The Council said the section of the retained silo would not need to be habitable or even usable. "Most realistically at the very least would exist as an installation feature illustrating the original function of the building," the council said.

The developer has up to six months to respond to the request for further information.

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