IT has already raised eyebrows with its dramatic gold-plated exterior … now the first details of what sits behind the façade of the Central Bank’s sleek new headquarters have been made public.
More than €23,000 has been spent on custom-made and boutique designer furniture for the office of the governor Philip Lane in the bank’s new building on Dublin’s North Wall Quay.
Records released under FOI reveal how Mr Lane’s personally customised desk will cost a cool €5,080 before VAT.
A sofa for his personal office – bought from the luxury furniture maker Lyndon Clarence – will set the taxpayer back €3,300, according to the records.
Two lounge chairs, each costing €1,582, were also purchased from the same design firm, who are based in Cheltenham in England.
Lyndon Clarence say their furniture “exudes confidence and style” and that “every product is meticulously designed and developed in-house or by a high profile furniture designer”.
Mr Lane brought his office chair with him from the bank’s old headquarters in Temple Bar, the Central Bank said so no cost was incurred.
A coffee table was also bought for the office for €1,203, and came from the ‘Bespoke Studio’ of Irish interior firm MJ Flood. A second meeting table has also been purchased, again custom-made from MJ Flood and costing €1,592.
Four chairs – each costing €1,502 – were bought from the world-renowned Swiss design firm Vitra.
The chairs are made of sleek aluminium with sewn-on leather cushions. Vitra describe them as “softer and more voluptuous” than their other lines. “The chairs adapt to the body of the sitter and provide extraordinary comfort,” they boast.
The final item purchased for the office was a credenza, which cost €3,038 and was again sourced from the bespoke studio of MJ Flood Interiors.
The governor’s office will occupy 55 square metres on the (CORRECTION-second floor) of the new building, a floor area larger than some smaller homes around Dublin. Mr Lane will also have a personal storage area, which will add another 6.5 square metres to his office.
According to the records released, no decorative items or art have been purchased for the office.
The office floor will be fitted out with carpet tiles from Interface Ireland, which are being used throughout the building. Similarly, the same blinds and lights will also be used throughout the new HQ.
The Central Bank said that the vast majority of staff at their new headquarters would be housed at “standardised workstation desks”.
However, twenty “dedicated and broadly standardised offices” were also created to cater for other purposes including senior personnel.
They said the fit-out of the Governor’s office was designed to “expected peer standard” so that it could host meetings with senior national and international guests.
They said: “The Central Bank will deliver, on time and within budget, a building for almost 1,500 staff that is by far and away the most cost effective option in terms of build and ongoing operating costs compared to staying within its existing Dame Street and Iveagh Court premises.
“All aspects of the building, including furniture, have been procured following a public tender process designed to deliver the ‘most economically advantageous’ outcome.”
The Central Bank gave some of the first media tours of their new seven-storey headquarters in the Dublin Docklands on Friday. According to reports, they expect to have around 1,450 of their employees in situ by the end of March.
The site had originally been intended as a gleaming new headquarters for Anglo Irish Bank, until the spectacular collapse of the bank during the crash.
It was a concrete shell for several years, with some even suggesting it be preserved as a permanent unfinished monument to the economic catastrophe.
The Central Bank have already sold their former HQ, the iconic Sam Stephenson-designed building on Dame Street and a number of adjoining buildings, for a price understood to be in the region of €67 million.
They’ve said their new home will be among the most environmentally friendly buildings in Dublin with only 100 parking spaces, and only one in eight staff bringing their car to work.
Full set of documents below: