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Dublin Ireland

Convention Centre

Convention Centre Dublin

The future direction of convention center districts emphasizes modern architecture, sustainable infrastructure and integrated design. These 21st century communities are destinations in themselves with a wealth of varied hotel inventory, creative food and beverage venues and cultural/leisure pursuits.

Irish eyes are smiling about the long awaited opening of the new $518 million Convention Centre Dublin. The glass and granite venue on the River Liffey—dubbed "The Tube in the Cube"—makes a spectacular addition to the beloved capital's haunting Viking remains, elegant Georgian squares and medieval castles.

"Now we have a purpose-built conference center with a marvelous iconic shape, an enviable downtown location and top-quality everything," says Susan Nolan, CEO of Odyssey International DMC. "It's changing the profile of Dublin forever." The carbon-neutral convention center's eco-cred is obviously resonating with buyers. In 2011, there are already 210 confirmed events including an international conference for 8,000.

Glass Atrium

The granite-clad building (the cube) is bisected by a tilted, 177-foot bay window (the tube) composed of 475 glazed panes, reflecting the fun, festive Irish welcome inside. Even water glasses and cruets are tube-shaped. The 6-story atrium holds six full-service foyers for registration areas, pre-function and food service, while glass escalators swoosh people in and out of the 22 meeting rooms, 2,000-seat auditorium and 48,400 of exhibition space.

Techies praise the wired space with amenities like the 17'x23' high-def projection screens. Foodies laud locally sourced banquets for 2,000. And DMCs dig the compact layout. Says Nolan, "Where networking is king, delegates go from plenary to exhibition floor in seconds, from registration to posterboard in a heartbeat. No one misses an event because it's too far."

In the docklands district amid a bevy of hip new restaurants and hotels, the CCD is steps from Calatrava's new Samuel Beckett Bridge, designed like a harp lying on its side. Stroll across the coolest bridge in Europe, and in 10 minutes you're at Temple Bar or Trinity University. In a rush? The CCD has its own tram stop, and definitely don't worry about getting lost in Dublin. It's relatively small and the local citizens love to help—after a wee bit of lively conversation.

-- Alexis Quinlan

Winter, 2010-11

Reprinted with permission of Prevue/prevueonline.net (edited version). To read the original article visit http://www.prevueonline.net/blog/destinations/asia-south-pacific/designer-districts/2.