The Grade I listed CHQ building sits overlooking the River Liffey in the busy financial centre of Dublin. In early 2016 a €16m investment was used for a new exhibition within this building – EPIC Ireland. The building was originally built in 1820 as a wine and tobacco warehouse with storage vaults beneath. The exhibition area is within the 21 original brick-built vaults and is a state-of-the-art visitor experience showcasing the unique journey of the Irish nation.
IN2 delivered full M&E design including environmental analyses of the vaults as well as lighting simulation, ventilation and heating design for the exhibition, café, restaurant and retail areas. The installations involved utilising existing concrete ducts at ceiling level above basement area. IN2 were able to use these ducts as service pathways, providing fresh air, high level electrical/audio visual and fire protection as well as a sprinkler system.
As a digital-only museum, AV technologies such as interactive screens and holograms are used to engage visitors. In total, EPIC Ireland operates over 140 media players, 33 PCs, 33 projectors, 136 speakers and 136 channels of audio display. Over 500 network points and redundant show control are incorporated throughout the exhibit. The vaults provided a challenge as the existing brick construction was Grade I listed and could not be interfered with. This meant no building service routes or ducting could not be fitted directly to the wall.
IN2 used our experience with listed buildings and heritage sites to design services routes that would fulfil the clients brief and objectives without causing any damage to the existing, historic brickwork. IN2 developed an innovative floating truss arrangement which the required services and AV equipment could be fixed to. With any historic building, the integration of new materials, technology and services must be executed sympathetically and cautiously to preserve as much as possible.
EPIC has once again been voted Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the annual World Travel Awards, Europe’s most prestigious honours programme in travel and tourism.