YELLOW METAL AT MIESIAN PLAZA- GEOMETRIC REFLECTIONS BY MICHAEL BULFIN
There are two prominent sculptures on the site – the yellow steel geometric Reflections (1978) by Michael Bulfin and Red Cardinal (1978) by John Burke.
Michael Bulfin studied environmental science at University College Dublin before attending Yale University. He represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale in 1971. Bulfin served as chairman of the Project Arts Centre from 1972 to 1976, and the Sculptors’ Society of Ireland from 1984 to 1992. Bulfin has won many public sculpture competitions and contributed to several environmental and land art projects, including West Cork Sculpture Trail; Kraakamarken ‘Art in Nature’, Aarhus, Denmark; Castlewellan Forest Park, Northern Ireland and Sculpture in the Parklands, Offaly.
Miesian Plaza includes three buildings of four, five, and eight storeys in height, with a central plaza. The two shorter buildings are adjacent to Lower Baggot Street with the 8-story building behind them, minimising its towering effect on the street.
The plaza contains the sculptures Reflections by Michael Bulfin and Red Cardinal by John Burke.
The Bank of Ireland Headquarters in 2010. The cladding shows patina prior to its mid-2010s refurbishment.
The complex’s facade and plaza were listed as protected structures in 2010. The facade is identical to that on Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building.[13
The complex was built as the Bank of Ireland’s headquarters, and it was known by that name for most of its history. Construction was controversial as it entailed the demolition of a block of Georgian homes. The project was said to have used so much bronze, £1.25 million worth of Delta manganese bronze, that the global price of bronze was impacted. The building was completed in 1972, and was the largest bronze-walled building in Europe. Costing a total of £4.6 million, it was the most expensive office development built in Ireland at the time.
The Bank of Ireland sold the property in 2006 at the height of the Celtic Tiger property boom and moved its headquarters from the building in 2010. An extensive redevelopment and expansion was proposed in 2008 but rejected by Dublin City Council due to the impacts on its protected architecture and surrounding area.
The complex was purchased by Larry Goodman in 2012 and extensive renovations were carried out under the original architects Scott Tallon Walker, respecting the complex’s iconic design. Following the renovations, the complex was renamed Miesian Plaza, and in 2019 became the first development in Ireland to achieve LEED Platinum v4 certification.