The City of Dublin’s newest public building addition, the City Council Chamber, opened to the public July 26 after a year of construction.
City Council and staff dedicated City Hall and the Council Chamber at a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by an open house in recognition of this milestone.
The new Council Chamber addition to City Hall, 5555 Perimeter Dr., will serve as Dublin’s civic center and a place Dubliners can gather for community events. The former Council Chambers in the Development Building, 5200 Emerald Pkwy., will be repurposed as a conference room and offices for City employee use.
The Council Chamber consolidates City operations by connecting City Council, the Clerk of Council, the Legislative Affairs division and City Hall employees, including the Office of the City Manager, into one building. It will also serve as a public meeting area and a place to display and memorialize public artworks.
The 11,675 square-foot Council Chamber features compatible architecture with the adjoining City Hall building: brick and tan accents to complement the City Hall building, as well as a roofline that differentiates and highlights the chamber’s special use.
The City Council Chamber also features
- areas for public engagement,
- space for public and staff meetings and gatherings,
- accommodations for large sessions,
- a lobby area that can be used for expanded capacity,
- five offices, an executive session room for Council and a large conference room,
- state-of-the-art presentation and communication technologies incorporated throughout the building,
- direct access to the Council dais for member and staff access,
- ample display areas for historical pieces, public art and gifts to the City,
- cozy area rugs, patio furniture and kitchen area to make these spaces inviting for all,
- and a covered porch that wraps around the building to provide outdoor gathering areas.
During City Council meetings, there will be up to 82 chairs in the chambers for the public, eight chairs for City staff and media, as well as 10 chairs on the dais for council members.
Maximum capacities: 213 people in the gallery; 197 people in the lobby; and 439 people in the chamber.
Construction began on the addition in June 2020. The design team used specific principles, identified by the steering committee, when creating the Council Chamber:
- City Hall and Council Chamber become a focal point within Dublin’s civic campus
- City Hall is the literal and symbolic core of Dublin’s government; with this philosophical understanding, the building’s design respects both functional and abstract values
- Gallery and lobby areas provide art and historical displays as well as a gathering space
- The Council Chamber is presented in a formal manner
- Interior design unites informal and formal spaces
- Exterior design respects the appearance of the existing City Hall building while demonstrating its unique civic purpose
- Continuity, human scale and strength are expressed design aspects
- Accessibility, being a welcoming environment and transparency are other important design considerations
As part of the lobby and conference room walls, the building has repurposed stained glass panels and wood elements from the recently closed Branzenhead pub in Downtown Dublin, which used to be located at 56 N. High St. Some panels read “snug,” referencing a certain section of a traditional Irish pub.
One wall in the lobby will also be home to a mural by local artist Brian Riegel in the months to come. Riegel will capture Dublin historic structures, buildings and events in his work.