A KEY COMMUNITY SPACE IN DUN LAOGHAIRE
dlr LexIcon is the centrepiece of a new public space in Moran Park. It houses a public library – a key community space where all are welcome, a municipal gallery, a Studio theatre space, extensive exhibition and performance spaces, a local history level and meeting rooms. There are 100 study spaces, 60+ computers for public use and 80,000 items in the adult and junior libraries. The building is fully accessible to people with disabilities and Brambles Café is situated on the Moran Park Level 1.
I worked in Dun Laoghaire for about fifteen years and most of my co-workers from the town and nearby objected strongly to the planning and construction of this building while I thought that it was an excellent idea.
The DLR Lexicon Building houses the main public library and cultural centre of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council (DLR CC). It has attracted controversy, with opponents critical of its massive façade and its €36.6m cost at a time of austerity in Ireland, and supporters praising its interior, usability, and environmentally responsible construction.
The site chosen was Moran Park, a partially derelict public park with bowling green, running perpendicular to the coastline down an escarpment. I was based there [Marconi House] for about two years back in the 1970s and more recently I was based in Haigh Terrace and by then Moran Park had become a no-go area at night because of anti-social activity relating to drugs. We were advised by management not to be in the immediate area after 7pm.
The site was chosen because it was already owned by DLR CC and would link The Metals (Queens Road) on the busy seafront to the north with George’s Street.
NOTE: Guglielmo Marconi sent the results of the Kingstown [now Dun Laoghaire] regatta from a steam tug named The Flying Huntress beyond Dún Laoghaire harbour to his assistant and shore receiver in the Harbourmaster’s house [Marconi House], which currently houses the Design Gallery between the Lexicon library and the Pavilion complex. This was the very first time wireless technology was used in journalism.