The HSQ is best described as being an urban scheme containing a mix of living, work, culture, retail, hotel and community uses to form a pedestrian-scaled city quarter. The central square which was designed in collaboration with Jan Gehl acts be a memorable urban space to be used by day and night. Smaller public spaces are landscaped to provide a variety of distinct environments and offer intimate sheltered areas for residents and workers.
The site is surrounded by historic landmarks and the apartments enjoy a high standard of spatial design.
To create a sustainable development, the largest biomass plant in Ireland was installed within the Brunel Building to provide heating and hot water to apartments, with capacity to serve all uses. Excellent Sedum-planted roofs are used within the scheme and office buildings incorporate triple-skin glazing and are achieving performance equivalent to BREEAM Excellent. Extensive use of prefabrication and off-site construction used helped reduce the carbon footprint and accelerate the programme.