Fully agreed. Not every aspect of the public domain has to be 'managed' within an inch of its life. Also agreed about the works currently underway. Indeed things are so preposterous on the College Street island that they are crisply paving around the splodges of tarmac! Incredible.
I promised myself I'd go easy on the Bus Gate works (i.e. civic improvement works of the most basic nature that should have been carried out 20 years ago independent of any transport policy). There is good quality work taking place in some virgin territory, but really and truly, what is happening in front of the Bank of Ireland simply beggars belief.
Firstly, one would naturally suppose, in spite of chaotic and destructive works involving historic paving still abounding across the city, that a decent effort would be made to manage change sensitively in the historic environs of College Green - even if for PR never mind matters cultural, or civilised for that matter. Secondly, one would have thought that the outstandingly beautiful setted entrances to the Bank of Ireland, composed of unique rust-toned granite setts laid in gracious sweeps emerging from the gates, flanked at either side by historic granite paving, in totality comprising the very best modern-day paving composition anywhere in Dublin city centre, would be duly respected.
I simply cannot believe what is happening in front of our eyes by Sierra's botchmen.
This is the surviving sweep at the west (Dame Street) end (cameraphone).
This is what is happening at the east, pedestrian crossing end.
Firstly, as can be seen, it has been deemed appropriate that the flanking granite paving be gouged out to cater for preposterous little scraps of crossing stud tiles. How can such a tiny feature possibly aid the visually impaired? In any event, why on earth are these needed at this crossing? This is health and safety or mobility correctness gone crazy. All at the expense of the historic setting of the Bank of Ireland. The composition has been ruined. And need it even be noted the new thin Chinese granite kerbs do no justice to the robust entrance gates.
The same tiled treatment looks to be going in at the completely gouged out opposite side, completely stealing the limelight from the rusty setts.
Secondly, all of the fabulous seemingly hand-cut setts have been scandalously sliced the entire way along their length with a circular saw. This is not even the stuff of Bob the Builder.
A crude line of cement will now be pasted the whole way along the junction’s length.
Back again on the opposite side, the driveway is being lop-sidedly widened in compensation. Here, setts are being laughably re-laid directly abutting the chainsawed line! The existing half-setts are not even being taken out to enable a neat intercourse with the new setts. You couldn’t make this up.
Then at the new rounded corner, thin and weak kerbstones of Chinese granite are being laid against the robust Dublin kerbstones alongside.
While the original curved stones remained stacked in a heap in the middle of the site.
Who the hell is overseeing this mess? Anyone? I dare not go back and see what other delights they have in store for us.
And again on the issue of coloured crossing tiles, if fawn coloured can be used outside the Bank, why on earth is this (not to mention more palatable) colour not being used across the board? Why is red being used on the opposite side of this very junction?! Or over on College Street? While over at Trinity Street it’s back to fawn again. Absolutely no co-ordination.
I just cannot believe what is going on here. You’d think for such a flagship contract, involving the ceremonial and historic heart of the city, and encompassing a number of challenging conservation requirements, that a masterplan of some kind would be drawn up. I really shouldn’t be surprised at this mess – also taking account of the lack of progress on the trees and all the other junk – but one really would have to despair in this city. There’s just no aspiration to quality, plain and simple.