civic offices, dublin

civic offices, dublin

Postby reener » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:03 am

i am currently doing a report/studie about the civic offices in dublin near Christchurch cathederal. about the significansce of the site (archeological & in relation to Christchurch and the quays), what people think about it: what DO people in Dublin think about the glass and stone cladded mass of the bureaucratic civil service next to temple bar...
does the design work: is it easy to find your way through the building on your way to the service you want? and what are all the servises provide whithin the building.
what do the people working there think of it: is it a pleasant working atmosphere, whith the internal garden to look upon, and all the light coming from the atrium-roof. while you can also go outside for a stroll around the civic garden...

if people can give me a hint or comment on any of these things, please do.
thanks
reener
Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Boxmeer, Brabant, Holland

Postby garethace » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:33 am

what do the people working there think of it: is it a pleasant working atmosphere, whith the internal garden to look upon, and all the light coming from the atrium-roof. while you can also go outside for a stroll around the civic garden...


Are you a mind reader? This is an excellent topic for a thread. I was just thinking about starting the same one, only yesterday, and ask exactly the same questions as you have. I am big into Louis Kahn now, and the public spaces he created for the public. I think the space in the Civic offices is new for Dublin and possibly well needed too. Good quality of internal space - the Hague scheme by Meieer in Holland comes to mind, only seen it in photos though. Anyhow, I will think about this one more, thanx for starting the thread - great idea, because the Civic offices needs to be discussed now, after its completion a couple of years ago, its contribution to Irish Architecture should go under scrutiny again I think.

Brian O' Hanlon.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby colinsky » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:21 pm

i live practically next door to this.

as some who is not a regular user of the building, but the space around it:

the green park area (was) nice, although the construction for the past year blocking the walk between the buildings has ruined much of the sense of open-ness that space provides and instead created a large superblock that one has to walk around. haven't ever seen construction going on once -- the space appears permanently blocked just to provide a parking space.

the building only opens up to the quays, and feels to be just showing its back to every else. on the end of essex street, for instance, there was a newstand that folded -- contrary to what you would expect for the space around a huge office building with thousands of workers who (one would assume) got hungry for snacks, juice, and sodas. People go in and out of the building and to the bus stop, or to their cars downstairs. There's no interaction with the surrounding area.

It's very pretty, and draws lots of tourists eyes. The plants visible from outside through the glass atrium look extremely pleasant.

Our heat is provided as excess/recirculated air from the city building -- this is a good service to offer. There's been period interruptions, however, when maintenance wihtih the building was done without local residents being notified or informed in advance.
colinsky
Member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 5:09 pm

Postby garethace » Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:53 pm

Thanks colin for raising that very crucial indicator of a decent piece of any urban surgery. Have you ever walked around any better buildings from a point of view of interaction with the public and surrounding area? Like Dun Laoire is worth a walk around some time, as just mentioned in the Dun Laoire thread. Or abroad, I am thinking about places like the Stattsgalerie by James Stirlling. Have you ever visited the County Council offices in Dun Laoire btw? Nice circulation options and space inside too. Thumbs up McCullough Mulvin.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:12 pm

This 'air/heat recycling' has been going on for years elsewhere in Europe and is a welcome development in Ireland.

The atrium space inside is stunning, particularly how it contrasts with the initial low-ceilinged entrance area off the quay - the acres of polished granite is just so predictable however.

The other atrium that links the Scott Tallon Walker phase with the original part is also impressive, I like the way you can see the sheer scale of Stephenson's 'bunkers' from inside.
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4580
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

Postby garethace » Fri Sep 19, 2003 8:20 pm

I suppose internally it is most sucessful as a civic offices for Dublin city. Its location is also good as a Civic Offices for Dublin. Somehow Baggot St, or St. Stephens Green isn't quite as Dublina. The exterior is quite 'office-parky' and the closed off pedestrian route, is really, really killing the way the buildings interacts with Essex St, etc at the moment.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

usefull/useless

Postby reener » Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:49 pm

as a part of dublins renewal with office (office-like) structures, (and as they are, or will be build along the whole lengt of the quays....) the civic offices were at its time ahead of the buildings it surrounded: more modern, environmentally friendly (with the gas powered urban energy system) and internal gardens and a sculpture at wood quay to lighten its heavy influence to its surrounding...

any comment?



also: has it been succesfull in it's existance: people obviously know it's there, but as colin said: it only shows itself to the quays, and has its back to everywhere else...
do people WANT to work there, or was it a nice idea that doesn't really work?? are the people that work there happy in their own little green world?
reener
Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Boxmeer, Brabant, Holland

Postby d_d_dallas » Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:13 pm

The building lacks the mystery of Central Bank (for me) which is a building I harboured fantasies about working in (although not for the Central Bank themselves!). Maybe the atria give it a bigger sense of openess, and thus satisfies my curiousity.
d_d_dallas
Senior Member
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 2:27 pm
Location: Ireland

Postby garethace » Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:21 pm

I think it would be a nice office environment, as offices go - it is right up there. But rarely does private office private sector investment, go in for these atriums, openess and sunlight. I mean, how would on go about filling a building that size with small private companies? Or even one big company? I mean DELL is the biggest in Ireland with 3,000+ workers, of which a lot are administrative - but they are spread out over 3 different centres around the whole country - east coast to west coast. And possibly with offices in Britian too. I must see West Point or City West or whatever it is called sometime. But I think, ideally the Wood Quay type of Architecture should be a nice office building for workers to work in. Obviously maybe not Central Debeer, but not unlike that concept in some ways.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Scott Tallon Walker

Postby reener » Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:46 pm

I hadn't really seen any kind of offices like the civic offices before i got a tour from the architects themselves...

if you would like to visit http://www.stw.ie you can also see the A&L goodbody offices just on the north wall quay. it also has a big atrium with even a wooden bridge in the centre to link the entrance to the back of the building...

so some DO seem to invest in office habitability and want to create a place where employees LIKE to come and do their job to their, and their boss' satisfaction.
i know a workplace or a building can't make someone like his/her job, but it helpes in the making of an enjoyable surrounding in which people have the enjoyment of being...
and I surely know that clients would rather go to an office in which they don't feel like stepping into a massproduction of brainwaves

its wonderfull to see these changes from grey, boring, cold looking/ and feeling offices in which recycled air is mechanically pumped around the offices... into buildings with natural ventilation (civic office a very good example!) and vegitation, with seats next to them for people to wait in...

although the outside DOES look like the view that everybody has of a bureaucratic environment: grey stone cladding, pretty much all the way....
reener
Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Boxmeer, Brabant, Holland

Postby garethace » Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:01 pm

I worked in an office once which operated out of a house on its own grounds, right out in the suburbs, beside a big shopping centre. I mean, everyone in the whole place began to fell like it was Gorky park, or some strange Stalinistic nut-house 1930s mental institution for shock treatment, we were all condemed just to rot inside! I have also worked in open plan factories with thousands of other workers, and that can be problematic with ID badges, security checks, cigarette breaks, lack of communication to supervisors, or no supervision...

So I guess, either extreme isn't really acceptable is it? From my own experience of just walking around the Wood Quay building, I would imagine it is terrible from the later point of view. That there is no proper supervision, it feels like you are just some ID Badge, with a person attached to it. And I would think there is almost no sense of being part of a team, of having an identity, other than the one, some god-awful Human Resources gob-shite gives you. Look at any of the DELL 'award winning office buildings', and you will get the picture. Nice to look at, but bad from a point of view of humanity.

JMHO, Brian O' Hanlon.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby sw101 » Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:10 pm

The city architects department works quite well. not sure it affords the privacy to each individual that might be pertinent in a hierarchal private office situation, but it creates a team spirit, constant buzz of activity, and the necassary openness and transparency that is required in public service areas like that.
sw101
 
Posts: 874
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2003 3:01 pm

Postby garethace » Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:20 pm

The openess and transparency maybe, but would you wish to work there? What happens when you get attacked straight out of left of field by some new manager/HR type, who thinks he owns the f***** place! They do exist and gravitate towards big buildings like that. However, on the other end of the scale, the dark mental institution out in the dark groves of old mature trees (insert Hannibal music here) doesn't really afford the worker much protection from abuse either.

A film I loved was the Stallone latest movie called D-TOX, set in this remote 1950s bunker, used to d-toxify police men and women, who had become alchoholics. What a place to work! :-)

I think that Central Debeer by Hertzberger, or Salk by Kahn, are perhaps open environments, but also communal. Very difficult balance to strike. I think the Wood Quay building brought too much 'World COM' or 'DOT.COM-ness' Office-Park-ness into the centre of Dublin, posing as a public institution. You expect it to have a CEO, like in the movies of Bio-tech, Mission Impossible 2, or something. Like developing super flu viruses, so they can sell the antidote. :-) LOL!
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby d_d_dallas » Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:06 pm

Treasury's Central Park in Leopardstown has lots of examples of the attempts at decent work space - Vodafone HQ prime example.
d_d_dallas
Senior Member
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 2:27 pm
Location: Ireland

Postby garethace » Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:23 pm

Talking about D-TOX and strange places to work etc, check out the 'Space for Civic rituals/4D' here at this E-Folio. Indeed the idea of strange buildings in strange places for people to work or study or learn etc, is one that arises in many architectural competitions. Check out the guys design, for a public Library too. Quite an inventive approach to a public institution.

Are you you much into those kinds of projects Reener?
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby StephenC » Thu Sep 25, 2003 1:43 pm

I like the Civic Buildings... I think they properly addressed the problem of Wood Quay that was so applalling tackled by Sam Stephenson's Bunkers. They offer a substantail and attractive river frontage... something that is sadly lacking along along the quays. The Atrium is great idea but I think this one is getting cluttered. There just doesn't seem to be enough space to offer a more impressive sense of place, which I think is important in this type of building....very much as you have in City Hall.
User avatar
StephenC
Old Master
 
Posts: 2483
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Postby garethace » Thu Sep 25, 2003 1:52 pm

Fair point about the salt and pepper alright. And I also noticed the clutter of that atrium these days. But SW101 has also mentioned that important point, in how a building will exist long after the architects are gone. People will generally impose themselves upon the space, how it works etc. I am reminded of places like Dun Laoire County Council, a totally adapted type of building to the exising street block internal courtyard, or Heuston Station renovation... you can possibly think of others too.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby merriman mick » Thu Sep 25, 2003 6:43 pm

I've always admired the twin blocks of the first
phase of this site, the so-called bunkers.

Sam Stephensons work grabs your interest and you find yourself staring at his buildings ever time you pass and these two were built 20 years ago.

The second phase is a great river-side building
and complements the bunkers nicely.

Can we learn to love the bunkers, any
thoughts on this ??
merriman mick
Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:18 pm

Postby garethace » Thu Sep 25, 2003 6:48 pm

This is the kind of discussion that made Frank famous in the late 1980s and early 1990s I think.

Although, his ideas about Dublin are quite sophisticated now.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby sw101 » Thu Sep 25, 2003 7:40 pm

sam stephenson sucks.

no discussion. department of agriculture. evil man
sw101
 
Posts: 874
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2003 3:01 pm

Postby garethace » Thu Sep 25, 2003 7:55 pm

You would be surprised how many young people your age, hated Busarus too. I.e. Guys/Gals doing Architecture for their degree. I think in cases like this Archiseek does fill a need so that Architects aren't the only ones with 'opinions' about the built enviroment. I thought Busarus just plain sucked myself, until it was explained to me what a revolutionary new and exciting piece of Architecture it was for that particular time. Designing nearly in the early 40s, if I am not mistaken, and only constructed after a delay of a few years I think.

Anyhow, Busarus, love it, hate it,... commands respect for the time it was built in. Considering most of Europe was doing mock classical I mean. The bunkers are perhaps more like mock medieval and designed in the 1960s. That is the tough one really, it was one particular case where 1940s Irish Architectural Design was perhaps ahead of 1960s Architectural design!

You have made this point before about Architecture existing for a long time, and becoming almost a history for the people living in a town or city. Which is pertinent to this debate too. I used to kid with one of my lecturers in BS, about the 1970s and Sam etc, being a time of Letraset people, with James Bond suits! :-)

Brian O' Hanlon.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby helloinsane » Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:54 pm

Originally posted by sw101
sam stephenson sucks.

no discussion. department of agriculture. evil man


But what about the ESB Offices? Civic Offices? Hume St?

Oh, wait. Yeah.

But here's the thing. I like the Central Bank. There, I said it.
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby helloinsane » Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:58 pm

Originally posted by garethace
I thought Busarus just plain sucked myself, until it was explained to me what a revolutionary new and exciting piece of Architecture it was for that particular time.


So were you *wrong* about Busaras before, and *right* now? Presumably it still 'sucks' for the reasons you thought it sucked before, but now those reasons seem less important?
helloinsane
Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:22 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby garethace » Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:20 pm

Dublin's city centre was once very vibrant and wide. But got less and less over the years and eventually was reduced down to one circulation route north/south. Anything right or left of this route was no mans land. Busarus was in such a spot back then.

Now you have the IFSC new developments down east of O'Connell Street bridge and Calatrava, a new boardwalk and footbridge west of it. And a big spike right in the middle, as a kind of landmark hub. Dublin has changed a lot since those times. In fact, like in the film Platoon, where Charlie Screen wonders has he hit rock bottom, I guess that was Dublin's 'rock bottom'.

None of this of course is the fault of the building, and it will continue to improve now that the city improves somewhat around it. You see Dublin followed the pattern of most cities in the second half of the 20c. Just sprawl out until it could not do so anymore. Coupled with economic depression in the 1980s, I think Busarus stuck through some rough times with a lot of dignity.
garethace
 
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 9:01 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby reener » Fri Sep 26, 2003 7:42 pm

Are you much into those kinds of projects Reener?

as a student graduating this year, i'm still trying to find my own red line through architecture, and what kind of designs speak to me and interest me: the combination civic offices with the bunkers DO interst me. and i would (and am) trying to let these things, like the internal garden as a meeting or waiting place, come back into my own designs.

and although i think the grey stone cladding on the civic offices and the city bank in combination with all its glass sufaces fit it's surrounding very well, but it remains a ridgid whole and lacks any fantasy on the outise. realising that when you stand inside and look around you, your mouth will fall to the ground with amazement and wonder for the beautiful environment you're in...

but personally i would also like to see a more mind chalenging building: the link garethace provided to "dimitar karanikolov" is one i can really appreciate, as well as (for example) the berliner museum by libeskind. which is also a kind of art-object on its own... the james joyce bridge is a small step to something less ridgid, as well the new design for the u2 tower...

although i do appreciate the bunkers as an object on its own... but sam messed up BIG TIME with the esb hq!
so its hard to keep doing 'right stuff', that's truth for the majority. and we have to look at and live around their mess-ups and gorgeous creations.

its nice to see that there is a future coming for the sides of dublin, away from the area "o'connelstreet-grafton street"
reener
Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Boxmeer, Brabant, Holland

Next

Return to Ireland



cron