I don't really want to go to deeply into this thread quite yet, but I divide this issue into two parts:
1) The involvement of the government in having conference centres.
2) Conference centres themselves.
Any thread like this, is going to get all muddled up very quickly in confusing those two issues, so one should only start a thread about conference centres by qualifying which area, the thread is meant to be about - then posts tend to stick more to a common line of argument.
Perhaps start dual threads and just cross reference them.
Anyhow, the point 1) above is part of a larger debate about moral in relationship to the planning process in general. And because of this, I think it is just too over-simplified to start all shouting, "I hate SDCC or every CC" without first at least trying to present how these government organisations fuction. I mean, they deal with many, many, many, many different issues and as such never seem to have nearly as much of a clue as architects have in relation to specific buildings.
What that linked article does do, is present to all readers to this thread, at least some idea of how the administration, that is a Planning department actually is. I.e. We have to put ourselves temporarily in the shoes of a planning executive, responsible with the organisation of his/her department. Until you actually do that, all off-loading of criticism and opinions here on this board does become a bit of a farse.
On the subject of point 2) above, I am currently working on a specific post, about conference centres.
Why? Because, besides all the Planning department stuff, that has become embedded into the discussion topic of Ireland/conference centres - there is quite an interesting architectural discussion buried in there someplace about a conference centre as a building type, which fills a certain need by a modern western society in 2004 - which I am very interested in debating about, on-its-own, and distinctly separate from the whole Irish Government/Planning department/Conference centre talk.
It would be a shame, if this recent government intervention mess, would cloud too much over the debate about the Architecture of conference centres as a building type. In fact, I would go so far as to say, noone has ever gone into a study of conference centres around the world, the places where they occur, what events are held in them - at least, I don't have any links to discussions/articles/reviews of this at my finger tips. Do you?
Even Magazine article issue dates/vols/no.s would be much appreciated thanks.
Typically, the problems associated with any government department or structure are very similar to the ones decribed on the links here.
I think the comment made by what? about the 32-storey thread, and the debating style used here at Archiseek was all too true.
im continually amazed at the opinions on this website about highrise buildings. there seems to be a strong vein of height lust fuelled by (in my opinion) some sort of insecurity amongst the architectural community here that we dont have any tall buildings in dublin. the reason we dont have tall building is not solely down to overbearing planners. it is because we have never had the economical needs that create high rise buildings.
if you want to solve urban sprawl a much more purtinant issue is the density of suburbia rather than the city centre. the attitude of "lets build a 60 storey skyscraper because we can" in the middle on 2storiesville is a futile self-indulgent excercise
I mean, it is all a bit too 'Frank McDonald' in its format - sure Frank can include the whole wider political argument in most of his articles about Irish architecture, because for the simple reason, it draws in a much larger target readership/audience for his articles in his newspaper, but does it make the debate about the architecture any bit better?
I think Architects are good at realising what buildings function or are used for, or might be one day used for - that is their unique facility - just sticking to the basics sometimes, is a better format for architectural debate on-line, than trying to piggy-back, a political scandal newsbreak ontop of an interesting debate about a building type.