O' Connell Street, Dublin

Re: Libeskind - Grand Canal Theatre

Postby cgcsb » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:21 pm

Last time i checked the GPO is set to become a museum dedicated to the rising in 2016. I think that is a very fitting use of the building
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Re: Libeskind - Grand Canal Theatre

Postby Rory W » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:03 am

Call me old fashioned but I think using it as a post office is a fitting use of the building

(It amazes me the amount of people who want the Dail in Parliament buildings College Green, Leinster House to return to Museum/Cultural use but seem to think the GPO is fine to become a theatre - IMO the abbey should be relocated to part of the Carlton site as part of a wider mixed use scheme of shops, cultural, apartment and metro station )
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Re: Libeskind - Grand Canal Theatre

Postby mp » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:16 pm

A building designed as a post office is a lot more suitable for housing retail functions than a theatre.
The traditional theatre program, which is presumably required for the Abbey, is pretty inflexible.
You'd probaly have to gut the building, just retain the facade and build a new theatre inside?

The museum could probably work as well, if it was really unsustainable for it to continue in its current use.
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Re: Libeskind - Grand Canal Theatre

Postby GregF » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:32 pm

mp wrote:A building designed as a post office is a lot more suitable for housing retail functions than a theatre.
The traditional theatre program, which is presumably required for the Abbey, is pretty inflexible.
You'd probaly have to gut the building, just retain the facade and build a new theatre inside?

The museum could probably work as well, if it was really unsustainable for it to continue in its current use.




I agree. The reason why they are moving out of the present Abbey Theatre (remember, it was a new purpose built theatre) is because it is totally unsuitable today. The GPO would be totally unsuitable too unless it was totally gutted as has been said and appropriately redeveloped as a theatre. Although destroyed in the 1916 rebellion, the GPO would suffer total destruction for this idea of it's development as a theatre.
It's status as a post office is very apt, with maybe a museum to 1916 and that's all.
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Re: Libeskind - Grand Canal Theatre

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:07 pm

From the Irish Times article posted above which few seem to have read.

Plans being drawn up by architects in the Office of Public Works (OPW) envisage demolishing part of the building to create a glazed courtyard to the rear, two-thirds the size of the Upper Yard of Dublin Castle.

The two existing courtyards within the GPO are "rather mean", according to a spokesman, so the plan is to demolish the cross-block between them and create a much more impressive civic space.

Beneath this courtyard, there would be a vast concourse - "something like the Louvre [ in Paris] rather than Clery's basement" - which would be accessible from the front and sides of the building.

The concept being worked on is to retain the existing post office, but reconfigure it to create a processional route from the neoclassical portico on O'Connell Street to the courtyard and concourse.



It's the rear courtyards & flanking wings that are up for discussion, it seems to me that there is sufficient scope for a number of uses.

There is no reason why the existing public post office cannot remain as is, and as it should be.

All of this should probably be moved to the OCS thread.
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Re: Libeskind - Grand Canal Theatre

Postby mp » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:57 pm

Would the theatre go underground then beneath the courtyard? Or would it fill the courtyard?
A museum arranged around the edges with a courtyard public space accessible from O'Connell st., gpo arcade, henry street could be great!
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:34 pm

So we do? Oh the shame!

Well as mentioned, part of the 1920s terrace on Upper O'Connell Street has just been unveiled after a cleaning by Nolan MPC Ltd.

Overseen by then City Architect Horace O'Rourke, Christine Casey ascribes the design of the focal Hammam Buildings block to the Cork firm of Chillingworth & Levie, with the input of the omnipresent H. G. Leask of the OPW.

What once was this...

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...is now this.

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Naturally a dash of golden afternoon sun aids somewhat in lifting the depression stakes.

As can be seen, only the Hamman Buildings facade and that of the neighbouring infill to the north (left) were treated. Both of these parts appear to be occupied by the State. Presumably the intended window replacement will happen in due course.

Before

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After

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Before

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After

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The vivid green copper mansard roof complements the rusty tones of the granite ashlar to perfection.

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The buttery tones of the newly cleaned Portland stone balcony.

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A dash of ebullient carving on an otherwise stern commercial facade.

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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:37 pm

Before

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After

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The contrast with the adjacent Savoy.

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The crisp steel lettering mounted on the Portland stone fascia. With its limestone inset, this has to be one of the best shopfronts not only on O'Connell Street, but the entire city centre.

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The adjacent Hammam Buildings looks spectacular.

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(If not quite the garish recent Citizens Information fascia, which has no planning permission, quelle surprise).


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The delicate neo-Grec detailing is highlighted to pristine effect.

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The brass-effect oak doors. Magnificent.

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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:43 pm

As with some vague Art Deco references.

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The elegant railings have also been painted a soft grey.

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As have the timber apron panels between the windows.

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Ridiculously, the southernmost two bays of Hammam Buildings were not cleaned – they appear to be in different ownership.

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The contrast is notable. Here are the opposing end bays compared (the first has been flipped for comparison purposes).

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The railings have also sadly vanished from the southern (first) section. Surely the window replacement will not follow such ownership divisions too?


All in all, a welcome improvement to the appearance of the Upper street.

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The all-important grandiose urns have yet to go back though!

Devin wrote:Image
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby dc3 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:57 am

9/15 Upper O'Connell St hosts the Revenue Commissioners in the above ground floors. The home of some Dublin tax districts. Revenue have been there since the 1950's, at least, perhaps very much longer.

These are probably rented by OPW, it is unlikely the State owns them.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:47 am

Yep - goodness knows many of us have experienced the delights of that office and its labyrinthine queues at some point or other. Thankfully their (nonetheless equally labyrinthine) online service now cancels it all out. It would appear that Hammam Buildings was built by the State though, not least given the input of the OPW at the time. The OPW were also the applicants to the recent proposal to replace all the windows in the building. It seems they own it.


Some subtle tweaking has been taking place on another 1920s building at the opposite end of the street. Whether it has occured in response to concerns raised by DCC planning, an initiative on the part of the architects, or simply the correction of a drafting error is unclear, but the disappointingly thin, weak and poorly detailed lintels atop the new doorcases of the Ulster Bank have just been completely replaced with cantilevered equivalents. This is in line with the original design of the ground floor facade and makes for a substantial and admirable improvement to the composition of the replica shopfront.

Corrective works underway in February, with the practically brand new lintels taken out.

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The enormous difference in depth between the old and new lintel stones is clearly apparent. These are the new pieces which had to be carved from scratch.

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Compared with the shallow originals from last year (photographed at time of construction).

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And for what it's worth, another picture from that time of some corner pieces of Portland stone, which got around the 'tile effect' problem of exposed side joints, as well as sample pieces of granite.

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The doorcases before and after replacement.

Before

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After

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An extremely welcome change, elevating the frontage and doorcases from a position of faint embarrassment to that of a substantial and confident statement, commanding a street presence.

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The LED lighting has also been made a little neater, but still could be hidden better. It was pulled forward to the new edge instead of keeping it back where it was and thus concealed.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:50 am

If there's still a sticking point, it's the fact that the dentils (squares) were done on the cheap by leaving gaping holes beneath the cap stones, rather than being filled in as is standard practice. At least the shadows cast by the deep modelling generally conceals this!

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Still, a highly worthwhile effort - one makes all the difference for that extra little bit of commitment to detail. Well done Ulster Bank and architects.

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Image
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Peter Fitz » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:49 pm

Probably worth throwing this in, O'Connell Street & Ulster Bank 1965 (from the honeymoon album posted by Graham).

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Quite like the pedestrian level lamp standard to the right of the shot, did these line the entire street or perhaps just mark junctions ? can't really make out from the shot.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:02 pm

Yeah, noticed that pic too :). That lamp type crops up at the odd location in the city centre of the mid-20th century. Given its distinctly Amercian styling, one would imagine it dates to the 1930s, when electric lighting design still clung onto international trends. What may help in dating it is that the lamp head is identical to those used on the Ha'penny Bridge around the same time. Completely useless for lighting the streets of course, but that's beside the point!

(And just to clarify, those are not my honeymoon pictures! Couldn't allow wifey get in the way of all those buildings)
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Satrastar » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:14 pm

Who owns the Travel Shop / Londis / Subway / Butler's buiding?

How on earth has it remained so decrepit after all this time?

It looks like the age of prosperity bypassed it completely
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:58 am

Very much so. In its own little time warp.

Lynam's are flying the flag for planning compliance as ever :rolleyes:

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It matches the Carlton extravaganza further up the street rather nicely (at least their not being able to spell their own name correctly backfires somewhat).

I took a peek inside Funland when passing by today, located in the townhouse at No. 67 Upper O'Connell Street, of Come in and Visit fame. Funland are a veritable institution of O'Connell Street at this stage, featuring in photographs as far back as the 1980s if I remember correctly.

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One of the benefits of the multiple-occupancy, transient budget uses in many of these buildings is that you can gain free public access to their upper floors, provided you enter armed with a credible backup excuse and a suitably deadpan expression.

In the case of the above No. 67, extraordinarily, the 18th century townhouse staircase of c. 1754-55 survivies almost perfectly intact running up along the left-hand side of the building! What is particularly remarkable is its quality for what was a relatively modest house on Sackville Mall, with heavily carved timber tread-ends (the swoopy bracket details at the end of each tread) as well as a more typical robust and heavy balustrade characteristic of the period. The balustrade of the first half flight has been replaced with a 1970s-style spindly steel number, but the steps themselves are probably the originals. After that it's full-on Georgian.

Furthermore, the plasterwork of the original entrance hall can still be seen along the top of the wall, in the form of a broad frieze with neo-classical swag detail and cornice! It's absolutely bizarre to observe! It appears to date to the late 18th century, which in itself gives an interesting insight into the the relative fashionability of the Mall by that late stage. Even more bizarre is a whole section of ceiling in the ground floor shop which hasn't been covered over by suspended panels, which features an extraordinary expanse of Jacobean-like stuccowork, which surely must date to a late Victorian or Edwardian commercial remodelling of the ground floor. Looking at the previously posted pictures of the corner block, this possibility ties in nicely with an ambitious c. 1860s makeover.

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The two first floor windows were later replaced with a single timber oriel spanning both bays, setting the precedent for the current 1970s picture window.

Meanwhile, Georgian windows with later fitted plate glass survive to the curiously shaped rear.

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A most interesting building, to which Christine Casey makes no reference (though of course not everything can feature). She does mention that the original staircase and some panelling survives inside Lynam's Hotel, in spite of most of everything else being ripped out in 1995. Maybe I'll book one of those €69 rooms...
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Satrastar » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:59 pm

How is Lynams and Spar allowed to retain these "temporary signs"?

Surely something can be done about this?


and COME IN AND VISIT is unbelievable
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:39 pm

There is without question something highly unorthodox going on here regarding the entire Special Planning Control Scheme. Assuming a complete lack of willingness to enforce any aspect of the Scheme on the part of the planning authority on any level is not the status quo, then there must be a legal barrier which is preventing its implementation.

Aside from the high-profile removal of Burger King banners, there has barely been, to my knowledge of the area, a single enforcement action, never mind a successful one, taken in respect of the plethora of planning breaches the length and breadth of the ASPA, extending from College Green to Parnell Square, and from Henry Street to Marlborough Street - the number of which are now approaching the one hundred mark in respect of unauthorised shopfronts, signage, banners, lighting, postering, sound pollution, window displays and on-street displays.

What cases I do know that have been taken, which relate to such significant works as to make them standard planning enforcement cases which do not even require special designation backing, even these have proved entirely fruitless in achieving corrective works. Londis at the centre of O'Connell Street has had its disgraceful illegal signage in place for precisely four years now, in spite of the planning authority having the power to move in and carry out the works itself if they have not been conducted by the owner or tenant within eight weeks of the notice being issued or in the agreed timeframe set out by the authority. It's getting to the stage where one wonders if this shopfront will now form the backdrop to the centenary commemoration of 1916, as it did to the 90th three years ago.

Dr. Quirkey's may get some action given its high profile character, but little else will. A vast clean sweep of the entire designated area is required to clear out the accumulated gunk that has been allowed to build up over the past six years.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby dc3 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:35 pm

The latest look of the Carlton Cinema.

http://www.geocities.com/barrybyrne.geo/carlton2.htm
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:40 pm

What a complete disaster.

Down at the other end of the street at No. 55, stands one of the most distinctive structures on the thoroughfare, with its quirky Victorian gable perched on top of one of the few surviving Wide Streets Commission buildings.

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As previously mentioned, this was home to the clockmakers, Chancellor & Son, with their clock plinth and its ghostly outline still surviving above the shopfront.

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Peppered with bullets in 1916, it was restored afterwards, as seen above c. 1950s.

These Victorian alterations tie in nicely with Victorian cornicing seen inside the front room at first floor level.

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The lower public level also features a robust Victorian newel post and balustrade (the latter going downwards).

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As can be seen above and below, this quickly turns back into a Georgian staircase of the late 1780s for all of the uppermost floors!

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(A random Victorian baluster in the mix there). This could well be the last surving WSC stairs on all of O'Connell Street, and certainly the last of three at best, assuming neighbouring buildings retain some rare fragments.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby lostexpectation » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:09 pm

came across cool pictures of the michael collins film set, the gpo etc, it was built beside broadstone
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebfotos/2767055039/in/pool-784879@N20
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby aj » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:11 pm

if ever there was a building crying out for restoration this is it, would be something special!
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:15 pm

Ah jaysus aj, you're killing me with quoting pictures! The photo account bandwidth is reaching boiling point, at over 300,000 hits a month! (though maybe that's a gentle hint to me just to stop posting pictures).

Agreed the building could do with some serious TLC, as with many similar structures on O'Connell Street and Westmoreland Street. One reason to be thankful for the many second-rate uses in the upper levels of these buildings is the generally good state of preservation of original features made possible by their occupancy, allbethey often in poor condition or covered over. The more cash injected in times past generally equalled a parallel increase in the removal of such features.

Where there is separate access, there is significant potential for permanent mixed commercial and residential uses of these upper floors, with fabulous views out over the city's principal thoroughfare. As far as I'm aware, the apartments over the Grand Central Bar, and over the Happy Ring House (now possibly unoccupied), are the only residences on the entire street.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby lostexpectation » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:25 pm

O'Connell street smells of flowers according to this dublin central promo
http://www.laffertystudio.com/Content/Motion.html
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby youth-decay » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:57 pm

lostexpectation wrote:O'Connell street smells of flowers according to this dublin central promo
http://www.laffertystudio.com/Content/Motion.html


Nice link thanks!
The promo for Dublin Central is too vague and er, flowery....
The one above it for Metro North is much more impressive!
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