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Ernest Cantillon approached me to look at a building he was buying and offer some suggestions, just as I was completing the Bodega bar. I did and  3 months later we were upstairs in the old ACC bank on South Mall, designing the Electric bar and restaurant.

I drew with my finger on the window and designed the basic layout I would follow. This formed the basis of the designed layout. 8 months of design later we started construction and 4 months later Electric opened.

The old ACC bank is one of the few buildings in Cork which had a definitive Art Deco style, though much of it had been eroded by various uses and occupants. The site is an amazing one. It immediately struck me that the building, like a lot of Cork City was turned away from the river.

I changed the entry points into the building providing a main entrance from the park and South Mall. A third entrance was developed to enter from the boardwalk. The whole sequence of entry was developed to minimise congestion and turn the building’s outlook form inward to embracing its external environment.

The main element from the elevations that was missing was fenestration. We researched a lot of window types and manufacturers, and eventually settled on Nordan Cork.

Overall this was an immensely satisfying design and contract. The client showed great determination and trust which is the key element of any good design partnership. Without that faith and tireless work of everyone on site it is impossible to achieve a good quality hard wearing finish.

Structural Engineer: Paul Hegarty, Fourem
Sculptural metal work and railings: Pat Ronan, Ronan Iron-Craft, Bandon
Flooring: Ken Curtin Oak Flooring
Windows: Nordan, Cork
Fire engineers: DMA