Pearse Lyons Distillery
Location: The Liberties, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Architect: The O' Toole Partnership
Designed by The O' Toole Partnership, The Pearse Lyons Distillery is a very large and specialist glazing contract on one of Dublin’s latest and very unique tourist attractions. Pearse Lyons Distillery is truly history in the remaking. St. James’ Church dates back to the 12th century. The present church was constructed in 1859–1860 in a Gothic design with a cross shape, a tower and a spire at the southwest corner. In 1948, the top 30 feet of the church spire was removed due to structural problems. In 2016 work began to replace the church spire, only this time as frameless glass spire. At a height of 14m and set a further 24m above the ground, the end solution was the result of innovative design and engineering, and includes many unique and complex manufacturing/assembly solutions.
The spire is clad in 18mm thick glass consisting of two panes of 8mm heat-strengthened glass laminated together using a PVB laminate, complete with a thin layer of a special solar control film in the middle. This has the dual purpose of reducing the solar gain within the spire, and also giving a nice blue-grey tint to the glass, which complements the existing traditional stone and slate finishes on the church. The total weight of the spire (glass and steel) is 9700kg, or approximately 10 tonnes, The steel structure is made up of eight stainless steel rafters all converging to a point at the top, and is meticulously hand welded at all intersections. The glass panels have been fixed to the stainless steel frame structure using state-of-the-art bonding technology. No bolts or mechanical fixings were used to attach the glass panels to the carrier frames. All the joints between each of the panels were then sealed with another layer of weatherproof silicone sealant. This provides a beautiful frameless and seamless look to the spire.
Pearse Lyons Distillery at St. James can be identified from various points in Dublin city by its striking spire, The Liberties Lantern. Over the next few years, it is hoped the distillery will attract up to 75,000 visitors annually. The team at Pearse Lyons Distillery will be led by Tracey Flinter, general manager, and Gearoid Cahill, head distiller.