Cathedrals of Commerce

Postby PVC King » Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:27 pm

I agree what you are saying about perspective or more to the point; the number of angles that must be examined.

The point about rendering angles was well made, I always try to look at building plans as close to the ground as possible (models in particular) It gives a very different feel to a building and it often gives the only indication of how a building will interact with others.

So roll on the 50:1 size models it would be very interesting looking at the Atrium in Block four being filled.
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Postby garethace » Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:35 pm

So roll on the 50:1 size models it would be very interesting looking at the Atrium in Block four being filled. [/B]


Is that in the Heuston development?

Well around early to mid 2002, I decided one thing - that I needed to develop some kind of independent ground of my own, upon which to base my ideas and attempts at designing. Only this week I have done a couple of job interviews, and the results have been predictable - 'oh, if we had a technician, we could do this, we could do that'. Young inexperienced or experienced Technicians seem to always be seen as 'enablers' by the profession of architecture. Therefore, it is very hard for a young technician to paint him/herself in a very bad light - since, right off the bat, they seem to have this very positive glowing light or aura surrounding their being.

On the other hand, you put a young architect next to this, and they always appear more like 'more bad, and very unnecessary dead weight in a 'system' which should be well oiled and highly progressive'. That is, built around enabling professionals rather than people who don't enable - but rather, cause resistance. Now, when you get to experienced architects, that changes more - the experienced architect on a project is rather like a bill gates is in MicroSoft. Or saying, Apple Computer Corp. without Steve Jobs is not actually Apple Computers anymore. You often hear about the 'direction and focus' that a famous experienced architect brought to a specific project. Almost like they were the Film directors that get interviewed for movie shows.

I don't think that the education system for young architects - with its very wide subject approach - helps one much either. I would really like one day, to go for an interview, and have that same 'appeal' to a prospective employer as a young architectural technician seems to have today. That is why since 2002, I have worked very consistently towards developing the basic foundation, from which to build a strong independent 'enabling, designer function' as a young architect - so that, some prospective employer would view me as a positive addition to the 'team'. I don't think this point is actually appreciated by educational staff in our present architectural education institutions.

I quote the example of Ching's book very frequently, because literally between those covers, is the opportunity for the young prospective architectural designer, to take his/her first steps towards a positive and concrete future as a professional. You mentioned the technique of getting down really low to view drawings or models - I have practiced over the recent past, the notion of seeing, the little tiny people walking around the page! As daft as this may sound, it is still a vast improvement on any other method I have been lumped with down through the years.

On the subject of walking around - It might be a nice idea to start from SCR/Clanbrassil Street junction some day and walk towards Harcourt Street. Interestingly, you pass out two important religious buildings, which have a very strong impact on the spaces they dominate over. I.e. the public street called SCR or Harrington St, or whatever. Then you approach the junction with Camden St. You will notice looming up in the skyline a couple of new large, commerical glass landmarks. It is an interesting experience to partake in, during a nice sunny morning, comparing two old religious buildings of excellent quality and detailing with new commercial landmarks. It just is a good example of landmarks and streets I think. At this scale, you have the sense of the community or a large collective group of people - not just the individual - learning to associate with their environment, by having significant public landmarks to measure progress on foot through space/time.

This is why I tend to argue that space is four dimensional really. As you cannot explain the above phenomena using only 3 dimensions. I mean, if an architect designing a large master plan or public housing competition etc, doesn't look at space from these points of view - what are these lines and graphics they persist on drawing on the sheet? Are young architects really only dead weight? Excluding of course, the management potential in the job of being an architect later on in the career - I mean, just in the purely design functionality aspect of the young/older architect. Is the design contribution they make completely airy-fairy? Or something rather much more concrete like I have tried to establish for my own utility?

A building in Dublin, just built - the National Gallery of Ireland extension. Well, it is just a great pity that Dublin/Ireland didn't have buildings like that - like other European cities have had. I mean, so that young prospective architects growing up could establish a relationship with good architecture from the get-go. That ones appreciation and love of something that good could grow with his/her maturity as a spatial designer. I would blame that same, lack of access to really good architecture, as one of the real limiting factors for young Irish architects. No amount of libraries full of magazines change substitute for something real.

To be perfectly honest with you, even if we did have several really good pieces of architecture here - would our approach to architecture education change sufficiently to achieve any benefit? I mean, would we develop awareness in our spatial environment from a young age? I have my doubts, given that we have for so long, done something else.
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Postby garethace » Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:05 pm

This facility with spatial design, movement and open public space becomes very useful in this sense here:

Archiseek post

But like I said, I have rarely or ever seen ideas like this presented in an attractive package in our architectural colleges. I think we could have a real difficulty in this country of being afraid of space even. Unless it is something to do with fighting and arguments over land etc. Bombshell!
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Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:20 pm

The Harcourt building on the old Shell garage is a cracker, and looks even better from Harcourt St on the only exposed wall. Good spec and the tenant list reflects that Bank of Am et al.

The other one thats in the Erin Soup ad, is dodgy I think, the circular section is very contrived and as for Iveagh Court the newly refaced one that got magnolia/lime plastic panels. That really comes back to the starting point of this thread about dodgy 1960-70's development.

If architects thought more about people interacting with buildings as you said; the city would be a very different place.
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Postby garethace » Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:33 pm

I didn't really want to express too strong an opinion of those modern buildings myself. But the main point, I was making, is that usually a bunch or architectural student know-it-alls pass out the Shell garage one, and just throw their eyes up to heaven and go 'ugly thrash'.

But in fairness to the architecture, if you just take the actual time and effort to recognise its context and significance within the environment - then, you can at least begin to build up some real picture of how good/weak a response a building is, in a specific context.

But my fear is that, most people will just reach for the Irish Architect, look at the photography, either go 'ooh' or 'aah' and just arrive at an opinion based on looking at a magazine, sitting on one's ass, while drinking coffee, than actually giving things a chance.

Goes back to my point, about this nation here, being 'afraid' of space, of walking, of movement or anything like that. We always reach for the Frank McDonald page, the big photo and the few 'words of wisdom' which Frank may have cobbled together to sell a paper.

The fact, these ideals are often enshrined in schools of architecture too, is shameful IMHO.
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Postby garethace » Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:33 pm

One that might interest you:

http://www.cgarchitect.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=next_topic;f=4;t=000165;go=newer

There are more images linked on at the end of the post to ams.be too.

I suppose this is the direction Sandyford has chosen to go:

http://www.cgarchitect.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=next_topic;f=4;t=000184;go=newer
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Postby PVC King » Sat Jan 31, 2004 10:47 pm

I think the building on the old Shell garage site looks very good. Good materials good proportion and fits very well with the buildings it surrounds. The lower height beside the Odeon is sympathetic and the shrubs on the terrace give it a very civilised feel.

It glorifies commerce without making an un-necessary intrusion into whats left of the setting.

Different docklands sites would afford greater heights without being intrusive onto historic streetscapes.
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Postby garethace » Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:54 pm

I guess that area of Dublin has gotten two nice new additions recently with the one at the top of Harcourt Street too.

I mean, new buildings, in old settings without being overly 'stiff' about georgian materials etc, etc, etc.

I.e. Getting a technician in 2004 to detail you something, in what he/she interprets as 'being like' Georgian construction and detailing.

The opposite to Cathedrals

Those who hope that suburbia is finally growing up and starting to behave itself often cite this much-quoted line: “Edge cities mean that density is back,” taken from Joel Garreau’s 1991 book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier. Many smart growth proponents who call for higher-density, mixed-use suburbs are especially invested in the idea that maturing edge cities represent a potentially promising future. The reality, however, is that sprawl is back—or, more accurately, that it never went away.


Good paper on edgeless cities
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Postby PVC King » Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:06 pm

There was a plan to build a complex on the old freight yards of the Harcourt rail station. Which are now occupied by the Ericom switch centre on Adelaide Rd and DIT music school on Upper Hatch st.

If it went ahead it would have given a unity between Montague House (the old Dunlop building) and the Harcourt building (the garage). If you examine both of those buildings the heights and front elevations are broadly inline.

A new gang of three would have sprung up, but on a larger scale and with a much higher standard of architecture. (not to say that 1 adelaide rd is bad)

Coming back to increased densities at public transport nodes. Clever six storey development with virtually 100% footprints. But unlike Sandyford built in the right place.
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Postby garethace » Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:15 pm

Originally posted by Diaspora
There was a plan to build a complex on the old freight yards of the Harcourt rail station. Which are now occupied by the Ericom switch centre on Adelaide Rd and DIT music school on Upper Hatch st.


DIT another building? DIT have some beautiful historic buildings around the city, but I am really beginning to question the notion of 'Dublin as our campus'. I mean, given the ability of University development uses, to add real variety to urban territories - I mean, places like Trinity college. Imagine Dublin without Trinity college, what would it be? Or is that just too frightening a possibility to even consider it, the type that would give you nightmares? Just thinking of some of the office stuff around molesworth st, kildare st, townsend st, pearse st.

Then there were sites around Christchurch too, and areas of thomas st, which have contributed little to the city at all - because of the way and the uses they got developed with - I mean, when you put a whole college together, and really make something cohesive that generates a kind of identity for a part of a city. I kind of like that development in Angier St to be honest, as that site could have been much worse - developed as blank faced apartments and another island of the urban core, becomes mostly a gated 'community'.

But at least in that case, DIT pulled something together, and actually renovated a part of the city, is a fairly positive way. Still I would like to see 'a real campus' too, something which behaved as a positive urban space, as an outdoor room and a collection point for all DIT students. It doesn't have that, and that feeling runs through any course you will do in DIT too. You wouldn't believe the arguments it generates between staff and students, 'not feeling quite part of anything'.

yeah, I know what kind of an organisation VEC was/is. I works on some levels, but it does seem pretty inefficient and 'bloathed' in many other ways. I just always seem to be 'bumping' into DIT badges stuck on doors all over the city, like some hobo symbols or something. I question, weither it is justifiable to keep that whole bueracracy afloat - or channel resources into providing something cohesive and more useful? Something infinitely more indentifiable with too - I often think DIT is like one of these DOT bomb companies, which only exist on a web site page.

In another organisation like Burger King, or Subways, or a Cafe chain or some kind, this kind of widespread distribution of your 'brand or product' might be a positive advantage. I just question, how that is so with education.
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Postby PVC King » Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:26 pm

Don't worry about the Adelaide RD building it is far from historic, an orange plastic curtainwalled horror on an elevated site.

Being a DIT alumni I too wish that my ex-college was on a single campus. THere is also quite a bit of land on the aungier st site for redevelopment which would add a lttle more critical mass. Do the National archives really need to be where they are? That site could easily accomodate Mountjoy Sq which is I think the most isolated of all the DITs.

I can't ever see Grangegorman happening, if the funds wern't found in 2000 they won't be found for quite a while to come. It would be much more realistic for the DIT to convert their surface carparks at Bolton St and Aungier St and develop the back of Kevin St.
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Postby garethace » Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:38 pm

My biggest fear is that - the organisation is totally managed and run by fat-cats who having enjoyed perks for so long now, would find it impossible to 'just give up their comforts'. I mean, even the door boys in DIT are all part of this one happy establishment. When I went to use the new IT facilities at Rathmines recently, being then a DIT students and living in the Rathmines area, I found I got so much harassement from the 'power crazy' doorguys, that I just had to give up my hope of convenience and using that building, even as a study room for a couple of hours. It is like one grand big piece of period architecture, with a couple of DIT badge wearing goons rattling around inside in it. Efficiency or bloath?

Grange Gorman, allowed alot of big wigs in those separate campuses, to feel better about themselves, that they had some grand vision - is like the rubbish bin protests - its only function now for years was to distract people from the fundamental issues, and address some real problems. But that is a very common behavioural trait of organisations that have just grown too wild and weedy down through the years. The DIT model is almost a father-to-son thing at this stage. From both the point of view of students and prospective employment positions. I don't think I would want to work there anyhow, if I wasn't part of the family so to speak. Do DIT really need an accomdation/admin department in places like Pembroke St? Or is Cathal Brugha St etc really needed? I mean, if you put all of those 'separated' properties together, you would suddenly see 'all the people employed' in this monster of an organisation - and what it 'takes' to run it. Does it need as many different Libraries as it has? Couldn't it make one really good one?

I compare the situation to a child that has more toys, than he/she can enjoy/benefit from, but is just too spoilt to lose any and perhaps get their lives back into some kind of suitable, more stream-lined organisation. It is the students who suffer the most at the end of it all - that is the fact. I guess what it really needs is some kind of 'large organisation doctor' to come along and wrench away from its grasp some of these self-destructive traits.
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Postby garethace » Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:53 pm

Anyhow, nuff that! Nothin new.

Cathedral render
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 02, 2004 8:24 pm

"Very nice renders. I like very much the feeling of the scene...its a beach hotel? I want to go there..." From: Belo Horizonte,Brazil

But you live 5 degrees from the equator

No pleasing some people!!!!!!!


Hardly Cathedrals but a pretty smart low density design solution it would work very well in Tramore
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:50 pm

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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 02, 2004 11:43 pm

I'm with Dibbers on the first image, it reminds of a building in Lima almost identical built in the 1970's with aluminium curtain walling that is textured like sheets of corrigated iron.

The second is good a sort of updated 'deco quarter of South beach Miami' I like the number of renderings from different angles but I suspect it is entirely residential.

But if you eliminated the balconies it would convert to offices pretty well.

Never forget

Office 45 psf
Residential 25 psf
Logistics 12psf
Industrial 10 psf
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Postby garethace » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:05 pm

what is logistics?
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Postby PVC King » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:13 pm

Transport, Warehousing and Distribution.

The sector requires an entirely different specification of building which costs more to build, and as a result has higher rental and capital values.

A land use that needs to be kept well away from urban centres. But that without the economy would grind to a halt. The origins of the Sandyford Industrial Estate were mostly distribution projects. As it had a location advantage in its greater accessibility to DunLaoire port.

But as other land markets rose smart owners sold their buildings for redevelopment and most of the former tenants went to either Ballymount or Blancharsdtown.
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Postby garethace » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:28 pm

yeah, i get the idea - many small town 'industrial estates' by the IDA could be lumped into that catagory too, in spite of being referred to usually as 'industrial' estates - they have a lot more to do with distribution and road shipping. Limerick has plenty of that too on its outskirts.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:30 pm

I think that is because most of the 'Advance factories built' by the IDA in the 1970's were speculative. 'Build them and they will come' type of developments.

Once that strategy was abandoned in favour of grant aiding actual projects like complex pharma plants, the question arose what to do with unwanted low spec factory units.

The market intervened as the only tenants around were logistics providers.

It really proves the point that all commercial development should be market led.

It is clear that a number of Financial services industries demand hi-spec offices they will pay the dockland premiums why not give them cathedrals to commerce?

:cool:
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Postby garethace » Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:41 pm

Yes, but getting back to my notion about real experience of environments, real on-the-ground observation of all things to do with environment, architecture etc, etc... like the new urbanism thread, or my post here

I would have to insist, that the mere presence of the IDA business parks on the outskirts of towns did give those towns a diversity, a change of scale, some might even say a scale problem - but nonetheless, it does change them - sort of like the 'Little Britain' edgedom debate going on about London these days.

I.e. the opposite to Milton Keynes and 'planned environments'. Raheen industrial estate in Limerick and other industrial estates around the country have in fact doubled over as recreation amenities in an otherwise mono-tone surburban environment. I like the way nature and open space, by the very nature of Raheen being 'an industrial estate' is treated in a different manner, to being trapped into small front gardens in a row.

This is really, my big problem with Sandyford Industrial estate or techno park now too - it doesn't seem to serve/provide that variation in urban scale/space/environment which Raheen one did to local house residents in Limerick. In fact, if you use the Sandyford Industrial estate for any leisure or walking activity, you could be branded a criminal or something.

Spaces in industrial estates, are maybe not quite as 'posh' as this one, here but do still provide the urban environment with some very much needed 'breathing spaces' in massive housing suburbias.

Of course, this also has to do with providing suitably 'scenic' environments for well-paid 'creative' people to walk around during lunch break. Richard Florida I like schemes, in dense urban areas, which try to provide some open public territory too, or rather try to re-claim that by using roofs etc. This entry for instance I don't honestly know what the brief for Dun Laoire is, but if it was some offices? This would be its park.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:02 pm

I think the real success of Raheen has been Michael Dell and the 5000 or so jobs that have sent Limerick up the class economically.

It is clear that no computer plant can compete for space at the centre of a city, but they can almost act like second town centres when on the scale of Dell. As the economic spillover attracts all kinds of busineses from Gyms to creches to retail warehousing for DIY type products.

It is rare to secure projects of that quality and that scale in an Irish context. They are the exception versus the rule I feel.

To plan for a small number of these estates is good planning to adopt them as the prefered development pattern is extremely short sighted.

A strategy is needed to ensure that brownfield development gets priority over edge-city infill such as the conversion of former industrial buildings to offices in places such as Sandyford and parts of Tallaght.

Only central areas can provide the rental values to support the highest standards of design and materials. If sutainable development patterns are to be introduced and higher spec buildings constructed it is only viable by prioritising resources to central areas such as the docklands and Smithfield etc :cool:
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Postby garethace » Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:15 pm

Hmmmm,....

all quite true,

just on my thread of thought,

If you want to work Smithfield and the Docklands at their very best, the whole notion of 'crowds of people' being part of the definition of the design problem must be done. How would you propose that people get to or from Smithfield or Docklands, given that Dublin is already moving like molasses, no matter what kind of transport you use. I think that cities thrive or die on the provision or lack of good open spaces connected in a fashion, which allow people to move. I mean, just look at what the north/south axis of pedestrian movement has created in Dublin city over the years. That massive scale and movement of people is part of what cities are all about. Perhaps we have to 'buy' a few properties here and there, just to knock them to make more connections and ways for the city to breath properly.

From this article.

Last March, I had the opportunity to meet Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, at his film complex in lush, green, otherworldly-looking Wellington, New Zealand. Jackson has done something unlikely in Wellington, an exciting, cosmopolitan city of 900,000, but not one previously considered a world cultural capital. He has built a permanent facility there, perhaps the world's most sophisticated filmmaking complex. He did it in New Zealand concertedly and by design. Jackson, a Wellington native, realized what many American cities discovered during the '90s: Paradigm-busting creative industries could single-handedly change the ways cities flourish and drive dynamic, widespread economic change. It took Jackson and his partners a while to raise the resources, but they purchased an abandoned paint factory that, in a singular example of adaptive reuse, emerged as the studio responsible for the most breathtaking trilogy of films ever made. He realized, he told me, that with the allure of the Rings trilogy, he could attract a diversely creative array of talent from all over the world to New Zealand; the best cinematographers, costume designers, sound technicians, computer graphic artists, model builders, editors, and animators.
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Postby phil » Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:20 pm

I suppose the O'Connell Street/Henry Street to Grafton Street route and vice versa has alot to do with that.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:21 pm

Build the Metro line from Spencer Dock to Pearse Stn to Stephens Green to Christchurch to the Guiness brewery to Heuston.

The development of a station at christchurch would serve the existing Smithfield developments. One at Guinesses would allow the Smithfield development pattern continue westwards.

While providing sufficient transport capacity to free up some of the existing mollasses.

When Tom Phillips presented the currently under construction Smithfield proposal. He used the model of early Italian Plazas with long terraces of 8-10 storey buildings.

Critically the wide plazas provided sufficient space for large crowds to mill around comfortably and also a large recreational space
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