Renovation Projects

Professional Engineering Response

Protected Grafton Street building converted to modern retail unit


In 2007 LeeMcCullough were asked to provide structural advice on the conversion of the former TSB bank building at 114 Grafton St (opposite TCDs Provost's house) to a modern retail unit. The existing building, which is a Protected Structure, consisted of three distinct sections.

Fronting onto Grafton Street was a typical early 20th century four storeys over basement building consisting mainly of load bearing brick walls and timber floors. The double height banking hall behind this was substantially altered in the 1960s when two storeys of offices were constructed above it.

To the rear of the banking hall was a mixture of small offices and ancillary spaces dating from the 1960s.

The architectural plan called for the opening up and amalgamating of these distinct spaces on several floors to create a modern retail space which was to be ready for trading for the 2008 Christmas season.

Working on any city centre site is always challenging, as is working on a protected structure. To achieve the Architectural concept, the removal of numerous load carrying walls and the complete demolition and reconstruction of the rear section of the building was required. It was necessary to install two escalators, passing up through the banking hall to bring shoppers to the first floor. It was decided to demolish the section of building to the rear of the banking hall and replace it with a new four storey extension.

Due to the Client's tight program, a contractor was brought in prior to completing the detailed design.

At the request of G & T Cramptons, we designed a crane base into the permanent foundations.

On a quiet Sunday morning, they successfully lifted a tower crane over the Habitat building and erected it at the rear of the site.

Project 3812-Retail, Renovation and New Build
114 Grafton Street
Client: Irish Life Investment Managers
Architects: Fitzgerald Kavanagh & Partners

Value: €4m(2008)

Project scope:
  • Protected structure
  • Tight city centre site
  • Change of use to retail
  • Negotiated tender
   Download Project PDF

Interesting features
From a Structural Engineering view point, this project contained a number of interesting and challenging Engineering features.

The most notable change to the building was the installation of the escalator in the banking hall. Another important Architectural feature and also important to the letting agent was the opening up of the front section of the building at street level.

This required the lowering of the internal floor level and the removal and widening of two existing windows to form new entrances with frameless glazing. What is now hidden are the substantial steel frames, which were placed and preloaded behind the original stone clad façade to support the wall over the widened openings.


At LeeMcCullough, we have worked on many retail projects, often mixed with residential or office accommodation. These require bespoke engineering solutions that balance style with functionality, construction cost.

In delivering retail-driven projects we are conscious of:

  • The importance of close and collaborative teamwork at every stage of the project
  • The need for ambience, space, air and light, and how engineering can facilitate these; and
  • How important it is to provide value, both in terms of materials and ease of construction, towards efficient completion and timely opening of all facilities

At LeeMcCullough we understand the requirements of developers and architects in the areas of retail, office and residential construction. We bring that experience to the benefit of our clients every time we work in this important sector.