The Design Tower stands out in the 21st Century as a beacon of good design – home to a vibrant community of exceptionally gifted, award-winning designers, artists and craftspeople.

The Tower began life in 1862 as a sugar refinery built by the renowned theatre architect, Alfred Derbyshire. With the engineer Sir William Fairbairn, he designed a distinctive building that was a revelation for its time, innovative in its concept and use of materials.


In 1978, the IDA bought the Tower,preserving and restoring it as the centrepiece of their new Enterprise Centre which continues to day under the auspices of Trinity College.

The Tower’s modern history as a centre of design goes back to 1983 when its restoration won a Europa Nostra award. As a listed building, the Tower continues to fascinate today.

Now, the entire Docklands area has been transformed by cutting-edge buildings from some of the world’s most original, and significant architects.