30 million euro Science Centre due to be built in Iveagh Gardens in 2018, many park-goers unhappy

The National Children’s Science Centre is moving much closer to reality, it is due to open in 2018 and will also be known as the Exploration Centre.

Regular park-goers decided to hold a protest in the Iveagh Gardens against the Centre being built, seeing as they had to come to the reality that the proposal is actually set in stone and they didn’t think the plan seemed fair. Others stated that it wasn’t equitable that a park they have been going to for years is just all of a sudden going to be altered and some of the garden to just be allowed to be destroyed.


The Science Centre was due to commence building back in April but there were some objections concerning plans to refurbish the historical Real Tennis Building and the removal of surrounding mature trees to accommodate the building.

Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens  is due to be home to the new Exploration Centre – Photo credits Ashley Callery

The proposed new science centre – Photo Credits By 3D Design Bureau

The Office of Public Works (OPW) got permission for the development on the other side of the wall more than a year ago from Dublin City Council. €13 million interactive science centre for children incorporating a planetarium has been granted planning permission for the centre of Dublin. The development of this centre has been undergoing plans for 30 years now.

Exploration Station will be a Centre for informal hands-on learning where children’s curiosity and imagination are stimulated and encouraged through scientific exploration. It will help young people realise their full learning potential by encouraging them to explore at their own pace and in their own style and by appealing to their sense of fun and adventure. It will also become an educational resource for parents and teachers by involving them in their children’s learning experiences. Exemplars in this space, include the Boston Museum of Science,  and the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.

The centre will feature more than 200 interactive exhibits with the main draw undoubtedly being the large planetarium. The large planetarium will form the centrepiece of a multi-million euro plan to build a world-class interactive science centre. The development would open to the Iveagh Gardens add to the front elevation to the concert hall that faces Earlsfort Terrace.

The former real tennis court buildings close to the National Concerts Halls (NCH) north wing would be used for temporary and visiting exhibitors, with a tunnel connecting to the science centre.

Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens are located in the heart of the city centre, the park dates back to the 1860’s, the park was designed by Ninian Niven. Many of the original landscape and design are still in place or have been restored and conserved since 1995.

These include the beautiful CacadeYew Maze,  Rosarium,  Wilderness, Woodlands, and Fountain Centre Pieces. They demonstrated the artistic skills of the Landscape Architect of the mid 19th century and display a unique collection of landscape features.

The sad reality of this project is that mature trees will have to be cut down in the Iveagh Garden for the proposal, part of which will be included in the park. The proposed work would also mean that there will be a dispossession of land and a loss of mature trees. The inspector has noted that the views may altered vista from the Iveagh Gardens towards the NCH site would be altered.

The centre should prove a bigger demand for tourists while also the perfect outing for schools and families. “This will be very strongly welcomed and it supports ongoing efforts to encourage more young people to study STEM subjects,” said Prof Brian MacCraith, president of Dublin City University.

The running costs are expected to reach €3.8 million per year and the board plans to adopt “international best practice” with 50 percent covered by trading revenue, 11 percent from donations and 39 percent of government funding.

However, is there not another location instead of demolishing trees and old walls? People remain in a quandary as they don’t know how they can reverse the plans that are due to take place next year.



It will just become a generic park, it’s uniqueness will be destroyed forever and lost for future generations.

Should a children’s science museum be built in Iveagh Gardens? Vote here!

Your opinion matters, you can also sign a petition below! The petition will be sent to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys.

Tree’s to be felled, 140-year-old wall to be knocked in our precious

Join the massive speak out and sign the petition by My Uplift. 


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