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Irish Naval Service Headquarters

OBFA Architects have been commissioned to lead a design team to convert and restore Block 9 Haulbowline (c.1820) into the Irish Naval Service's Operations and Command Headquarters on Haubowline Island, Cork Harbour. 

Six naval storehouses were built here between 1816 and 1822. Block number 9, although derelict, is in remarkably original order considering the conditions of it's Cork Harbour setting.

211011 2105 PROJECT ICON

While sharing many design features common to other naval buildings erected in Britain and Ireland in the nineteenth century, such as in Portsmouth or Pembrooke, the Haulbowline warehouses are unique, distinguished by architectural integrity and spatial elegance in the exploitation of a waterfront quay overlooking the harbour town of Cobh. They convey a sense of permanence, stability, and authority; they are now amongst the most impressive heritage buildings in Ireland.

Classical but utilitarian, they are constructed of local limestone, three storeys and an attic with parapets and a mansard slated roof.

All sketches

This ambitious project aims to add needed accommodation for the naval services strategic, administrative resources in consolidating departments in one Headquarters.  200 years later the core fabric of block 9 remains useable, and the design approach sought to recognise this and ensure this fabric was conserved correctly with local craftsmanship, skills and employing new technologies – to bring this vacant structure back to a productive life as comfortable, energy efficient contemporary offices , still in its intended naval activity use.

Defence Forces Ireland, Irish Naval Service
2019- On Site 2024
Haulbowline Island, Cork Harbour
Site Plan Diagram BLOCK 9