an taisce-and rumours of them going bust

Postby FIN » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:06 pm

:-)
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Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:12 pm

The definition of Oirish, is simple enough design it with tourists in mind.

Examples of 'Oirish' treatment are generally confined to historical buildings and include:

The stripping of rendered finishes to expose stone exteriors, often pieballed stone that looks inferior to the original.

Over exposure of timber usually badly dyed (new timber) antique pine.

Really poor shopfronts being placed on four storey engineer designed apartment buildings with bar at street level, the perfect example is 'The Liffey Wharf' on Ushers Quay.

When it comes to listing protected structures nothing surprises me. This student obviously missed a property so why would it be such a surprise if they included another in error?
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Postby space_invader » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:19 pm

In a hundred years time the pastiche architecture of today may well be culturally relevant. ('why was everyone at the turn of the 21st Century so obsessed with Irish theme bars for example: and do we have any remaining examples which best describle the milleu: if so, let's preserve it' may well be the cry of preservation bodies in the future)

And remember, in the past, architects weren't adverse to dabble in pastiche also.

Time is a complex bugger innit.
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Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:28 pm

I agree there were some excellent bars done during the period giving a new interpretation of old bars. I like the Quays in Galway, McSorleys in Ranelagh Dublin. One bar I have a lot of respect for is the Bailey, which preserved the outer skin and has a cool clean interior. It also has tables outside which are the ideal summer seat, if you are lucky enough to get one.

I suspect that buildings such as the Dail extension and others such as the Irish Film Centre will be the buildings that are remembered. Along with mostly contemporary buildings.
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Postby GregF » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:29 pm

Ye mention the Liffey Wharf pub on Ushers Quay: in fact, the whole stretch of this side of the quays is an absolute disgrace. From the diddly-idle pub O'Shea's Merchant right up to Heuston Station is one big hotch potch disaster of pastiche, gerry building, dereliction and rubbish. (A great backdrop to the new James Joyce bridge whose arches were lowered so as this view would not be obstructed).
An Taisce could focus it's energies here highlighting the urgent need to repair the fabric of this part of the city with better contemporary design standards.
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Postby FIN » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:34 pm

our beautiful estates of semi-d's no doubt will be held in high regard just like their equivalent from years ago. ah! well..
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Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:35 pm

Greg,
There is a specific report close to publication that deals with the issues you raised. It goes much further than listing the problems, and thankfully the author has listed what he perceives to be possible solutions. I will get you a look at it as soon as it is published if you want.

Even better it will be put on the web. I'll post the link
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Postby Devin » Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:44 pm

Paul said "Devin, do you want to out yourself as one of an taisce or will i?"

What's this about "outing" as an an taisce member? I thought that only applies in the backarse of leitrim or kerry . I would just as easily say Im a member of the ASTI.

The point ive been trying to make is that I think the architect bods should cut an taisce some slack. There is only really an t., the RIAI and the IPI trying (and fighting a losing battle) to get some policy change to deal with the chronic levels of one off housing. After that, the whole country either doesnt care or wants bungalows.
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Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:06 pm

I agree that An Taisce aren't the only ones who are of the belief that other more sustainable settlement options exist.

However directing all resources and PR towards this issue has done the organisation serious damage.

It is the current minister's opinion that some of the previous An Taisce PR (pre John Bowler) was actually conter productive. It did little other than to energise oponents of the strategy that is in most county development plans, the National Spatial strategy and wider EU spatial policy.

Megaphone diplomacy delivery of opinion has been the problem, not the message.

Given the work done by Peter Hennessy and Frank Corcoran on rural sustainability, I would hate to see it ignored due to over concentration on one issue.

In many quarters An Taisce has to prove itself again, this will be done. Ultimately Ireland will be better off with a consensus reached by discussion.
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Postby Devin » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:18 pm

Diaspora, you're sounding more and more like your average Irish politician: saying a lot but saying nothing.

sw101 said "what exactly is an taisces position on one off housing? are they just against it in general or insistent on higher standards?"

Its one-off housing policy is on the an taisce website, "www.antaisce.org". Go to 'campaigns' then 'policy statements' then 'rural built environment'. Its about 15 pages long and the first 2 lines of it are:

"Our countryside is a valuable and fragile feature of our heritage. Our current failure to protect it breaches minimum international norms."
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Postby Devin » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:24 pm

Excellent letter re one-off housing in the Irish Independent today by Alan Crowley.
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Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:48 pm

An Taisce has four functions:

Property Management

Advocacy of policies

Planning observations

Education (through community local authority and commercial co-operation)

To over-concentrate on one policy only serves to undermine all other policies.

That it is what it is one policy no more. On an operational level An Taisce makes few submissions on individual submissions. Mitigating circumstances such as family and local employment reasons are accepted.

Holiday homes are not, that is why Mary McAleese was refused permission for a holiday home. An Taisce needs to step back from this issue in terms of PR in the way that it has in the opertation of planning observation.

No one issue is worth jepordising all four programmes.

In case anyone has forgotten An Taisce is primarily the National Trust for Ireland it needs to never forget that.
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Postby Non-Taiscist » Mon Jan 12, 2004 11:12 pm

We may be getting distracted from the issue which began this thread - in essence, why isn't An T thriving, prosperous and generally respected. Here's two for openers:

(1) One-off housing.

This is a no brainer and An T should have won the argument ages ago. Of course much of this housing is for commuters and city folk wanting to exercise the 4x4s a few weekends a year, but much of it is also to accommodate daughters (sorry Equality Authority, 'struth) and second sons who would otherwise have to negotiate with the types that own the local village or town land bank.

Ideas to consider include requiring minimum numbers / clusters, properly serviced, to be built as well as requiring actual rather than pastiche architecture. An T could have been 'political' about this. They could have been and been seen to be the defender, the promoter, the facilitator of family accommodation on the homestead. Instead, all that is visible is negativity.

Even if you say "we're for sustainable development" most people don't know what you're talking about. If you say "we're for family farms and the accommodation for the extended family etc" you have won the hearts and cornered the arguments of the O Cuiv/Rae adherents.

(2) We know best.

Where An T really really gets up the noses of many in this forum is the perception that it knows better, always. Old = good, new = bad, us = good, you = bad.

You can do a truly fantastic job, you can agree with the neighbours, you can follow local and sympathetic idioms and use local materials, you may delight a lot of people (you can be a good architect?), but, no, it's not quite right. Because there's an An T opinion, it'll get listened to, not because it may have merit, but simply because it exists.

Heritage is being created all the time, and that fact is lost to An T. If it's any good, it'll be visually intrusive. The self-indulgent pursuit of alterations to plans, the relentless pursuit of the 'correct', the requirement that it has the last word on any significant development has had the curious result of rendering suspect any intervention of An T. A bit of active indifference would be welcome.

P.S. (1) I am not anybody else who has posted here (2) I observe that Diaspora is almost as much of an arriviste as myself.
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Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 12, 2004 11:19 pm

If those are your opinions you should divest the non from your name.


You would be a most welcome An Taiscist if you put your arguments into the process. I think you are a little hard on the organisation stating that they object on some of the grounds you mentioned.

Such as the relentless pursuit of the 'correct'.

What else would you want us to persue?

That aside your input would be welcome. ;)
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Postby alan d » Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:21 pm

Paul, what's the story behind 500 buildings being removed from the List of Protected Structures in Dublin?

Non Taisist, for what it is worth, this is my experience.

If you can not create yourself then your influence is determined by objecting. Your "power" lies in the ability to restrict developement.
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:23 pm

lol......
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Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:39 pm

Below is the most recent announcement of changes to the list of protected structures. It features a ratio of 2:1 in favour of MORE listings.


100% Dublin Corporation: Our Services: Dublin City Development Plan Protected Structures
Summary: Dublin City Development Plan, 1999, Listed Buildings, Protected Structures, Maps, Information, Dublin, Dublin Information, Dublin City Council, Planning. Dublin City Development Plan 1999 : Protected Structures. Dublin's development plans have always included lists of buildings which were to be preserved or pro
Updated: 16/10/2003 09:54:24

Power I will leave to yourself Alan

An Taisce does not think in terms of power only fullfilling its mandate under the 1963 and subsequent planning an development acts.

Observers to the planning process and developers of the organisations own properties.

It is as already stated the function of Local Authorities to determine first instance applications.

It is the function of An Bord Pleannala to determine second instance appeals.

I recommend you purchase some of Yvonne Scannell's texts on the Irish planning system.

Because knowledge is the only power in this process not money and certainly not An Taisce.
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Postby alan d » Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:56 pm

Oh, I'm not saying that people who cannot create themselves Diaspora don't have a role to play, apart from regurgitating planning law- verbatim and when required.

Great art cannot be universally liked in it's own time..........the real issue is do the right people hate it.
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:03 pm

or wrong!
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Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:32 pm

But a bit like a good or great picture the right place must to be found to display it.

The property market like any other needs to be regulated, the only way to that is through legislation.

If An Taisce argued anything other than points on legislation and development plan guidelines and objectives the organisation could not call itself objective.

There are many objectors who throw the kitchen sink into objections An Taisce do not.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:37 pm

Non-Taiscist - you've hit the nail squarely on the head.

AT are universally disliked for the two reasons above. Rural - cos of the one off's (although AT are in essence correct). Urban - cos of quote "Old = good, new = bad, us = good, you = bad".

Just because you have power doesn't , mean you should wield it.

Diaspora, you may argue that AT is merely fulfilling it's remit under law - but an objection from J Murphy carries none of the weight that an objection from AT has. Most people are just too frightened/stressed to try and overcome the hurricane force of D4 minded constricted vision that AT domineers on designs they deem "unsuitable". Is it any wonder the docklands and "new Dublin" are so bland? It isn't the direct fault of AT objecting to a specific Docklands design - but a mindset and culture has come about. Propose this and watch it get stamped into the ground. So why bother...?
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Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:49 pm

I understand onlt too well that the past PR of An Taisce has been poor. It is going to take time for An Taisce to win back the support of much of those who could possibly be members of the National Trust if they were resident in the UK.

I don't accept that An Taisce is predominently made up of D4 types. I acknowedge the problems that such people cause, their way or no way.

We will have a small problem keeping a lid on their opinions in the short term. But make no mistake the new director of An Taisce will allow no minority exploit the organisation to their own ends.

Re The Docklands An Taisce has no input there nobody doers except the Authority, Developer and residents groups. That suits An Taisce as there is little or no heritage buildings down there. The major objections levelled by An Taisce were the revised Georges Quay scheme on the basis of it's impacts on the Custom House and the very bland Spencer Dock.

Regarding the wider point of bland architecture I couldn't let the possibility of one observer influence my design input.

Just follow the development plan and be bold with original design concepts in mind. Once you can prove that you have taken steps to mitigate concerns raised, you will win the argument.
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Postby Devin » Wed Jan 14, 2004 2:15 am

Ms. Non Taiscist:

With reference to your comments, An Taisce is not a popularity club. The proposal for a complete ban on one-off housing is a fighting fire with fire excercise: in an ideal world no-one would propose a complete ban on one-off housing, but the magnitude of the problem in Ireland is so overwhelming that it is a necessary measure. And look, now it is a contentious debate, whereas before it was just happening undocumented.

Some of your perceptions of An Taisce are very anachronistic. I suggest you take a surf around its website to update yourself (http://www.antaisce.org).

Lastly, as one who is peripherally involved in the organisation, I concede that there are too many "martello tower preservation society" types still involved for its own good.
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Postby Non-Taiscist » Wed Jan 14, 2004 10:18 am

Agreed, an T does not exist as a popularity club. That's why we're debating it. The difficulty is when its lack of popularity operates to imperil many of the things it stands for.
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Postby alan d » Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:39 am

............good letter in the Irish Times today Non-T which supports your view.
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