Ugly buildings

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:44 pm

I always thought the door was original as well - its the only decent part of the building.

Every piece of the original was numbered and catalogued as it was dismantled, for future reconstruction. What a disgrace pieces went missing - I always thought they just couldn't be bothered carefully rebuilding and so threw up this entirely new structure in its place.
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Postby Zap » Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:44 pm

I have to say I really like this building. I like the way it towers over its environs and really does provide a focal point to that part of Temple Bar. I have to agree with Graham's comments though - the Commercial Buildings are a sham. Maybe if the facade was recontructed it wouldn't be so much of one but as it is, its just a fake.

Looking at the Central Bank it is obvious it landed in the street, destroying a whole terrace of what were very beautiful buildings. That's a shame, but the building itself is a gem.

The civic space was great - the railings are a joke - so obviously a hastily throught of add-on - a case of 'this is my space and I'm not having anyone else in so I'll build a ridiculous wall around my area'

I thought it a very rich area in terms of diversity of social gathering. It still in inspite of the railing deliberately meant to destroy this aspect. I think it was just a case of Fat Cat bankers wanting things there way, willing to exclude all others from 'their' building. If they were intimidated by the people on the plaza then sure they must never walk around the city. I work in Irish Life beside the methadone clinic - now you should see the types we pass by into work!
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Postby pvdz » Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:15 pm

The Central Bank, Its a quality building Its frightening the way some ignorant CEO Mullah from the sub_urbs can swipe away the most successful and accessible public space in the city. I am at a loss to see how some middle class kids with heavy make up can be considered intimidating.
more dissapointing is that an increasing number of our public spaces are becoming privatised. If you go down to the IFSC with a camera you will be approached by an irate securityman asking you to leave as you pose a security risk. Even good ol socio democratic countries with civilised planning systems like Germany are adopting this idea, Eg Potzdammer platz in Berlin is owned by the Sony corp, and if they dont like your haircut its bye bye.
Perhaps the boorish reputation of Stephenson comes from old staff rumours from his office. It was believed he did not come up with the idea for the central bank as his co workers simply couldnt believe he had the intelligence to concieve it. I've been to Stephenson Lectures myself and quite frankly I would believe the hearsay, juvinile and all as it is. The piss take of urban design that these railings are is not a silly joke, but an accurate representation of his thinking maybe.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:30 pm

Originally posted by pvdz
Even good ol socio democratic countries with civilised planning systems like Germany are adopting this idea, Eg Potzdammer platz in Berlin is owned by the Sony corp, and if they dont like your haircut its bye bye.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Sony Center is a development on Potsdammer Platz not the actual platz.....

http://germany.archiseek.com/brandenburg/berlin/sony_centre.html
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Postby Harry » Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:30 pm

Originally posted by Zap
The civic space was great - the railings are a joke - so obviously a hastily throught of add-on - a case of 'this is my space and I'm not having anyone else in so I'll build a ridiculous wall around my area'



Correct me if I am wrong but surely all of the so-called "Civic Space" is really their property.

I think the railings are an unfortunate necessity of city centre (especially Temple Bar!) life. Hands up who actually would like to have to power-wash down their front doorstep of all sorts of crap (literally) every morning.

But at least the whole plaza was not closed off and some thought was put into keeping the area as a space where people can meet/congregate.

We probably should be thankful!
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Postby what? » Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:54 pm

im sorry harry but that is a very small minded view of the situation. its not really about who owns what piece of land (although legally it obviously is) or the slight discomfort or offence of a small number of workers in that building.
This is an issue for the city and an unhealthy attitude overtly displayed by the upper classes towards the general public (reminiscent of the wide streets commission tearing down the tenements of the poor while they were away, at least they were doing it for the good of the city). its about arguably the best public space in the city being destroyed by the wishes of a few.
The fact that they have left some of it is beside the poit. they have taken the wind out of the sails of the space. they have turned waht was a recessive inviting space into an agressive space where no-one really wants to stay. thankful? next time someone punches you in the face shake their hand for not cutting your balls off.
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Postby pvdz » Fri Nov 14, 2003 6:12 pm

Sorry about that, I phrased myself badly. I was referring to the perception of public space which is portrayed to the general public. In the Berlin case people like Yahn and Piano have created a generous and sucessful series of public spaces which in past times would have been in public ownership and now are owned by corporations and constantly supervised by them.
This situation stinks as these corporations have the ability to do exactly what the central bank did. More worrying than someone who has an aversion to the 'lower classes' these people exsist in a perpetual state of fear of urban life and the principles of urbanity itself. The only time these people encounter another demographic is when they go into 'toun' for the weekend to get lushed or by visiting a planned european city.
If we keep on segregating people into social ghettos in sub urban areas we can see that unenlightened people like Harry from middle class ghettos 10 miles from the city are the people who are ultimately making the decisions about the spaces we doorstep crapwashers end up living in.
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Postby Harry » Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:18 pm

I don’t want to turn this into a slagging match. I expressed my opinion and did not attack any of the other members.

This is a thread about the building, which by the way I do like but agree that it is somewhat out of place. The plaza is part of the overall architecture of the building and at that I do not think the railings suit the original building very well. One thing I always thought about the railings is that they certainly could have been designed with a very wide opening at the front. This would have made it less intrusive and left the view of the steps unobstructed when left open during the day and when closed at night still met the requirement for which it was erected in the first place. The railings should also have been closer to the building to preserve the size of the plaza.

I am not small minded (I started my post with “Correct me if I’m wrong……”). I agree that the railings do detract from the overall plaza but I don’t think it is totally ruined. I am thankful that the whole plaza was not closed off. That does not mean I am happy about what they have done, but surely there should be some recognition that there is still a (smaller) plaza there.

I don’t claim to know Sam Stephenson, I have never been to one of his lectures, I’ve probably never sat beside him on the bus, I have not extensively toured the placa’s and plaza’s of Europe, but I do not consider myself “unenlightened”. I live and socialise in the city centre. I spend as much time as I can here and that in itself can be enlightening (for good and bad reasons), but I love it dearly and will regret having to leave if and when that days comes.

The segregation of the classes is becoming more and more obvious as time goes by. This is caused be a wide number of influences not by any one set of railings however symbolic or prominent they are. The segregation of classes is caused by society itself and we are all part of that (banks, architects, skateboarders, drunks, all classes, colours and creeds etc. included).

But that is another thread, this one is about the Central Bank.
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Postby Harry » Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:20 pm

Sorry if that became a bit of a rant.

One other point that has not been mentioned is the issue of insurance. If I fell down the steps, can I claim against the bank ?
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Postby what? » Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:44 pm

no slagging going on here just open discussion, i just take offence to the attitude that a functioning public space should be destroyed by a few suits' phobia of the real world. I dont know if the central bank owns that land but im sure a provision of planning permission was the public space. now they have their building built they take away the part that gave back to the city. it shouldnt be allowed.
i realise there are issues of insurance etc. but this isnt the only place in the world where there are an open flight of stairs, im sure that wasnt the primary reason, as usual i susspect that was greed, laziness and ignorance.
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Postby Rory W » Mon Nov 17, 2003 2:38 pm

This harks back to the "all property is theft" type left wing nonsense that makes sense when everybody behaves themselves but when they don't they have the right to protect themselves and their property - Isn't the right to property part of the constitution after all
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the central bank roof

Postby chewy » Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:15 pm

the dicussion of the central bank has come up befoer i think its an alright building
but people often mention the change of teh roof what ya mean by that do yas have a before and after picture ?
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:17 pm

Originally posted by what?
I dont know if the central bank owns that land but im sure a provision of planning permission was the public space.


they do as far as i know
the primary reason given for the enclosure was that it was embarassing in having to wipe vomit, piss and excrement off the steps every morning when you had visitors from other central banks calling... its more the fault of the irish people being unable to cope with public space and standards of behaviour....

i don't like the design of the railings but i don't blame the bank... i would do the same
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Postby alan d » Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:50 pm

......would'nt be too hard on your countrymen and women Paul. Don't think I've met many Dubliners at Temple bar, mostly Geordies, Glaswegians, Brummies and Essex girls out on the razzle on cheap flights deals from RyanAir
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Postby what? » Mon Nov 17, 2003 5:10 pm

i can assure you im not left wing, and certainly dont go in for that misguided, ill-informed happy-spa shit.

im not saying that everyone was well behaved and the place was pristine 24/7.ive been in that plaza (as many others im sure)hundereds of times when it was open, at all hours of the day and night, and the next morning. it wasnt that bad. now i think it would be an extremley rare situation to find excrement on the steps, urine and sometimes vomit i will give you, and some rubbish from fast food outlets the night before. i dont think anyone would deny the place became messy. but name me a well used public space that doesnt?
its the laziness of the option to rail it all off and ruin the space that i have a problem with. employ a guy to come out with a powerhose early in the morning (as they do wit many buildings and public spaces on the continent) and after a few minutes the steps are as clean as they ever were.
leaving the city with the public space it deserves. in my eyes the railings dont just make the plaza smaller they utterly destroy it. its the quick fix, short term, narrow minded, thoughtless solution typical in this culture run by unenlightened morons who see politics and positions of authority as windows to easier lives for themselves rather than an opportunity to make things better.
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Postby Fachylacha » Tue Nov 18, 2003 5:39 pm

Bord Iascaigh Mhara offices in Dún Laoghaire and the apartments next door.
Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre.
The new Dún Laoghaire Pavilion.

On the other hand the modern extension to the Town Hall is an amazing combination of a contemporary design with an older building that for some reason works perfectly.
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Postby phil » Tue Nov 18, 2003 6:13 pm

Must say I don't mind the appearance of the Pavillion in Dun Laoghaire. I do however have problems with its construction in the first place as it was built on a public park and very little was given in return (good old PPPs) for the use of the public.

The scary thing about how bad those apartments next to the BIM building is that they actually make the BIM building look better than it did. Don't get me wrong, the BIM building is unbelievably bad. What I am saying is that those apartments (the ancorage) are so incredibly bad that I cannot help but look on the BIM building more favourably than I did. There is a planning application at the moment for the Iceland site up the road from there. The proposal is for a block of apartments which will form a "landmark building". It is to be nine stories high. The applicants have been asked for more information. As far as I know they have been asked to rethink the whole height aspect of it.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co. Council buildings work very well though. Great from the outside and seem to function well on the inside as well.
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:48 am

Aviation House on Burgh Quay - what a pile of junk.
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