Trinity Due for Demolition in 2005

Postby MB O'Maoileoin » Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:34 pm

In terms of foreign universities, Oxford and Cambridge both stand out to me for their architecture (old and new) and their collegiate (as opposed to federal or unified) structure. Why does TCD have to keep expanding? Instead, why doesn't Dublin University just build a new college (or colleges) on another site? I know there was talk in the 1960's of TCD and UCD forming part of a new university but I think it was more along federal lines.
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Postby garethace » Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:22 pm

I think as client universities generally go cap in hand to the government and ask for dough.

I think generally universities have to be supported, they have to ask for money.

I think it is therefore best probably to give them a good spread of land, with a view to filling it up with buildings in say, another 30-40 years.

I mean, places like Crumlin were considered 'out in the sticks' years ago, but now are considered central. I am sure UCD 'was out in the sticks' not so long ago - but now you have all kinds of industry and offices moving into the Clonskeagh area, high density on Milltown Road and Dartry, Dundrum is getting more built up..... things change, and what was once all leafy residential suburban has now become 'more mixed use'.

I mean, places like Clonskeagh - a lot of 'semi-d's' and bungalows are premises now to many young thriving businesses etc. Strange but very true.

I was wondering does anyone have an idea how Maynooth became so big and popular so fast? Might be a bit related to your point, of having a whole new college for Dublin - in Maynooth? ? ? ? ? ! ! ! !! !
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Postby PVC King » Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:30 pm

Originally posted by GarrethAce
I think as client universities generally go cap in hand to the government and ask for dough


You could be waiting a long time, the Example of the Zhivago building in Bolton St is a typical situation. The college paid rent for 2002/03 for two floors which lay empty because the dept of Education wouldn't give them the cash for the new desks and projectors etc.

Originally posted by Rory W
It's Luce hall - although it does remind me of a tram shed


God bless Henry Luce and all the other philanthropists who gave significant sums to Irish education through philanthropic foundations.

The OPW site that is currently for sale on Lad Lane could have been the perfect site for TCD to expand.
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Postby garethace » Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:42 pm

You could be waiting a long time, the Example of the Zhivago building in Bolton St is a typical situation. The college paid rent for 2002/03 for two floors which lay empty because the dept of Education wouldn't give them the cash for the new desks and projectors etc.


Which is what I mean exactly, this is exactly the kinds of problems Universities get themselves into, if they are not contained on a suitable stretch of land, in which they can populate with various buildings - some possibly of shit quality, and other ones that are great.

I mean, TCD built a 10 million building, which they want to knock after only a few years. But they still get 10 million worth of use out of a building, and maybe replace it with something better - it could almost 'work out'.

But generally, as clients, Universities on the one hand are very big and powerful - with very expensive property and facilities, and on the other hand they are like Moscow when communism fell apart.

Universities cannot take out short term bank loans - expect to make money on 'the next big job' like a company would - I don't think.

Then Universities have to pay staff, manage staff, manage courses, manage catering..... a lot of stuff. In a lot of ways Universities are different kinds of clients to most other situations - a very interesting client too.

I wonder have many fifth years done thesis projects, for new buildings in Universities, with the Uni as the client?

To be honest with you, I am finding it difficult myself to remember any thesis project I have seen, like such. One or two maybe, but not that many. I know, a lot of small art schools etc, are often done.
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Postby notjim » Fri Feb 27, 2004 12:51 pm

ucd is out in the sticks. i work in tcd and we get lots of visitorsl; scientists who come to give talks; almost none have ever heard of ucd and none bother visiting the deptment out there because it is too far from the centre and they can't be bothered. in fact, they are more inclined to go to Maynooth to visit there because it is on the train line.
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Postby phil » Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:18 pm

Originally posted by notjim
ucd is out in the sticks. i work in tcd and we get lots of visitorsl; scientists who come to give talks; almost none have ever heard of ucd and none bother visiting the deptment out there because it is too far from the centre and they can't be bothered. in fact, they are more inclined to go to Maynooth to visit there because it is on the train line.


Notjim, by 'deptment' I am assuming that you mean 'department', but which department do you mean? Also, why have you chosen to insult UCD on an architecture site when the likelyhood is that many of the people who are viewing this site are UCD graduates in Architecture, a course which Trinity does not offer?
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Postby notjim » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:02 pm

sorry, no big insult, but the discussion partly touched on the importance of a city centre site versus a site with lots of room for expansion. i am argueing that a city centre site is an important asset when building and maintaining an international profile in research. my experience is that ucd doesn't get the profile it deserves and has trouble attracting first rate international scientists because of its location, which is a pity, espessially given the quality and commitment of its existing staff.

of course, the situation with architecture courses is different and something i know nothing about. lets not get caught into some silly ucd versus tcd arguement, the arguement was city centre versus lots of room, fitting modern lab space into a site containing old buildings versus building on green fields.

by department i mean my own department, which is the Department of Spelling.
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Postby phil » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:12 pm

Yes, I agree with you about the city centre location point. I think however that alot of what you are talking about is related to history and reputation if you know what I mean!? Don't worry I am not interested in one of those silly arguments either, I was just confused by your initial point!

Thanks for clarifying your point of view.


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Postby notjim » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:17 pm

of course, history and reputation are alot of it, but, really, based on this, ucd doesn't have as good an international repuation as it deserves whereas tcd is better than it should be. i worked abroad for a good while, in different universities, and i would never have come back to ucd because of its international status. i think the prestigeous buildings and the city centre location have a lot to do with this, along with the winner-takes all attitude people have when there is more than one university in the same city. ucc is doing very well and probably matches or beats ucd internationally, this is partly, i think, location and appearance.
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Postby garethace » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:51 pm

I think where the notion of fitting modern anything into old buildings, really blows its gasket, is when you begin to talk about course like Architecture in Bolton Street. I mean, Diaspora referred to the renting of a brand new office space next to bolton street itself, for use by the final year architecture students in Bolton Street. Yet it lacked any furnishings. The reason it lacked any furnishings, is because DIT spent its entire budget for computers, furnishings and everything else getting the brand new Angier Street extension fitted out for 2002/03. Now, the ironic thing about Angier Street, was that the new extension held only about 10-20% of its total capacity of students in that same period. Meaning that those tables, chairs, computers etc were basically just gathering dust and looking pretty inside their new building for most if not all of that time.

It was one of the most expensive blunders in resources management I have seen by DIT in all my years attending that organisation as a student. The situation in Angier Street was peverse at this time too - Angier Street already had a new building with offices, and furniture - which were slightly older and cheaper in spec than the new extension - so what do you think happened? Yeah, youv'e guessed it - the employees of DIT Angier Street engaged in practically a year long 'bitch-fight' arguing over who should get 'a new plush' office in the new wing! ! ! ! ! ! And while all this crap was raging on, Bolton Street, a branch of the same organisation within a stone's throw of Angier Street was renting out 2 floors of prime office real estate which it wasn't even using - because it didn't have any furniture/computers! ! ! !

At the same time, I was stuck right in the middle of that situation, where third year in Bolton Street had 80 students packed into a space designed only for half that number, with fourth years inhabiting a space right along side them - where the noise was just so loud between all the 'packing in' of students that no lecturer could even conduct a proper course at all. I.e. As usually happens, the students are the first ones to lose out in the deal. But this is just typical of the behaviour of DIT down through the years. While on the one hand, they manage excellently well and cope on limited resources - even when they do manage to organise the funds required and build something and fit it out - they simple haven't got any skill or knowledge as to how to manage those resources properly and effectively. And it is not so funny anymore, considering the sums of money that were spent on that new Angier Street extension - it is not enough anymore to show the glossy pictures and talk about the aesthetic value of new college architecture - the debate has to be broadened. This is probably why 'Privatisation' is such an issue nowadays with regard to Universities. There is simply no incentive for these huge organisations to do anything even slightly more efficiently or better than it always has been.

Most of the problem in DIT revolves around the one fact, that DIT do not own their own campus - where ALL major resources of that said insitution are all within a walking distance from each other. As is the case in DCU, UCD, TCD, UL, and all Institutes of Technology all over the country. In DIT: Dublin city is our campus! I assume by that, they mean like the people who sell flowers on the streets like Molly Malone? :) I mean, if Angier Street and Bolton Street had been on the same campus, then the final year students in architecture in Bolton Street would have had a proper home back in 2002/03. Not have been on the 'waiting list' for accomodation! The main problem with colleges is usually not lack of resources, but efficient management of those resources. That is why I think that UCD and the general concept of having one single campus. I.e. One swathe of land or real estate big enough to hold all the bits and bobs - is a far more sustainable, economical and value for money than a fragmented organisation the likes of DIT. The same goes even for large secondary schools.
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Postby MB O'Maoileoin » Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:41 pm

Garathace, I agree with your point that institutions like DIT need a campus. However, I think there is a distinction to be made between DIT which is effectively an amalgamation of institutions and Dublin University which is one institution with one constituent college. It's no doubt too late now, but I think Dublin University should have been encouraged to found more than one constituent college (as Oxford and Cambridge Universities did over the centuries) with each college being allowed to develop its own identity, architectural style, recreational space and teaching/residential accommodation. Ultimately, there was never the necessary funding to enable this to occur - either before or after Independence - although there probably was a chance before the Act of Union as the former Irish Parliament provided substantial funding in the 18th century for many of the buildings which now form part of Trinity College.
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Postby garethace » Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:10 pm

Well, it is an interesting debate - not too remote from the debate as to whether UCD should have remained into Dublin city centre or moved out to Belfield. From an architectural point of view etc, I love where the DIT institutions are situated - there is nothing quite like spending the time attending those colleges in Dublin's city centre ever again, in many peoples' lives - a lot of them may never really experience city centre working, living ever again.

Any student of architecture in my time observed continually a great amount of change in the city over time. I started architecture in 1992, when there were soccer fields around DIT institutions, and since then an awful lot has changed. But from a pragmatist's point of viewing things - I have to present the advantages, which are not always highlighted enough, by UCD moving out to Belfield when it did. From economic and future expansion etc, points of view.

Not to mention the diversity and character it did manage to bring to an area, which otherwise might be just more and more rows of housing. Places like Clonskeagh, Roebuck, Botterstown, Fosters Ave, etc, etc. Similarly, is the case in DCU on north side of the city. If I had any criticism of UCD at all, it is that it is a little bit too secluded, a little bit too invisible while travelling out by the roads in that area.

The only indication one often has of UCD being there at all, is the large water tower feature our there, which serves as some kind of landmark.
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