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Dublin City Centre to Welcome New Planetarium and Science Museum

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Dublin City Centre to Welcome New Planetarium and Science Museum

Dublin City Centre to Welcome New Planetarium and Science Museum
April 02
09:41 2024

Exciting plans for a cutting-edge science museum and planetarium, set to be located at the National Concert Hall complex in Dublin, have been given the green light with the recent approval of planning permission by An Bord Pleanála.

Despite some appeals lodged against the project, citing concerns about encroachment on the walled Iveagh Gardens and protected structures in the historic Earlsfort Terrace site, An Bord Pleanála has given its endorsement to the development.

The proposed museum, to be known as the National Children’s Science Centre, will utilize the currently unused north wing of the National Concert Hall complex along with a newly constructed adjoining building. Spanning 9,500 square meters across four floors, the facility will feature a striking dome at its apex for the planetarium.

Designed to accommodate over 200 permanent and temporary exhibits, interactive experiments, demonstration areas, a lecture hall, and a café, the museum will focus on six overarching themes: the digital revolution, smart cities, food and water, energy and decarbonization, consumption and production, and humans and demography.

Originally proposed as a government initiative in the 2000s, the project was stalled due to economic challenges. However, given the pressing need to support STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in educational curriculums, particularly at school and third-level institutions, the urgency for such a facility has been highlighted by the Oireachtas Education Committee.

Managed by the Office of Public Works (OPW), the museum’s designs have been developed by the agency’s in-house architects. While the estimated construction cost is approximately €50 million, a charity has been established to oversee the project, with a diverse board of trustees including figures from the public, private, and academic sectors.

The National Children’s Science Centre aims to become a national hub for interactive learning, featuring extensive outreach programs and touring exhibitions, both physical and digital, supported by a dynamic online presence through its website and app.

Although objections were raised, with Pom Boyd expressing disappointment on social media platform X, the project’s approval marks a significant step forward in Dublin’s cultural and educational landscape.

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