ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:01 am

jimg wrote:I Generally Find You Can't Lose An Argument After Peppering Its Expression With Terms Like "modernism", "post-modernism" Or Even More Effectively, The Likes Of "constructivism", "realism", Etc.



:d
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:38 am

jimg wrote:Whether recreation is justified depends to a degree on whether you value what will have to be destroyed to accommodate it.


That is a crucial point. There is the issue of the ethics of reconstruction in the first place, and then there is the seperate issue of whether you can justify the demolition of what's there now to create the reconstruction opportunity.

jimg wrote:I've never admired the current facade. It is repetitive suggesting a weak attempt to respect the rhythm of the Georgian Terrace but missing the point entirely without any vital variation. It's boring and bland - neither rudely functional nor brashly modern. It's all staid semi-state comfort; it looks like the sort of place that is going to have carpet tiles covering everything.


I don't know if I'd entirely agree with that. I think for the ESB block to have been a really great building, something in the rhythm of the facade needed to vary, but it has a certain power, and it doesn't actually overwhelm the surrounding Georgian context, which, in fairness to Stephenson/Gibney, can't have been an easy thing to do.

Nobody now disputes that the original ESB decision was wrong! . . . . It was an urban crime of the highest order, but despite some later attempts by Bord na Móna on Pembroke Street, that model, (the tearing down of Georgian houses to build corporate office blocks), wasn't permitted again on this scale and the coherence of the 'South Georgian Core' at least, largely survives.

jimg wrote:Across the lane, you have the great Bank of Ireland block - an exciting expression of modern architecture.


OK, we'll agree to disagree on that, whatever about the actual architectural merits of the ESB block, at least it was an 'original' work and not a scale model, but to take up your point on proximity, there is a case to be made that these two corporate blocks together, (the ESB and the Bank of Ireland), create (or could if they tried) the nucleus of a modern/contemporary cluster here, right in the heart of the 'South Georgian Core'.

Perhaps in this case, instead of looking to what we've lost, and justifyably seeking restitution, there is a case to be made for looking at this modernist cluster as a work in progress and see whether one or two more interventions might make the whole thing work on a really urban level.

Punctuating that monotony in the ESB facade with a laneway terminating in the vista of the narrow facade of the tallest Bank of Ireland block would be one idea that comes to mind. Such a new pedestrian route could open into some kind of shared plaza on James's Street East, defined by the Miesian Bank blocks on one side and some contemporay towers on the backlands of the ESB site on the other.

I don't know, maybe we should just put back the 16 Georgian houses;)
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby lostexpectation » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:42 pm

pics of whats behind etc ftw
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby jimg » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:01 pm

Don't get your hopes up too high - I may have overstated the case for the back lane in my excitement. The birdseye view on maps.live.com is useful when you're stuck:
[ATTACH]9748[/ATTACH]
[quote="gunter"]I don't know, maybe we should just put back the 16 Georgian houses ]
A reasonable summary I'd say, all things considered.
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby johnglas » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:51 pm

I know it's me just going off on a tangent as usual, but isn't it amazing how all those Georgian back-gardens have tarmac from all those years ago. Oh, that has been laid later. I see. And they all applied for planning permission in what is surely a conservation area. Isn't it?
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:04 pm

I'd say tarmacing and asphalting crept in as early as the 1950s, johnglas, with the increasing commercialisation of the squares. Still, the levels of unauthorised, and ultimately desecrating, piecemeal development that took place behind these buildings is one of the untold stories of the past half century. High profile cheeky office inserts aside of course.

jimg wrote:A reasonable summary I'd say, all things considered.


lol

It's interesting how this debate, understandably so, often revolves around an ingrained perception about what is 'bad'. Not that I suggest for a moment that people are blindly presuming 1960s = Abomination, but one need only look right next door to observe what I think is the greatest blight on the area, namely Larry Murphy's on the corner with Baggot Street. Its all-singing rendered facade, hideous pubfront and attendant clutter present the most appalling vista in the south Georgian core, above and beyond that of nearly anything else. Its effect on the senses and disruptive impact on the character of the area is at its peak as one emerges from gracious tree-lined Baggot Street, where the glaring, tawdry cream facade and nasty modern fenestration shatters the mellowed brick environs to disorientating, not to mention eye-watering, effect. To such a degree in fact, that coupled with the ESB block straddled along Fitzwilliam Street, and the vacuous asphalted road junction directly in front, there is no sense whatever that one is standing in a supposed 18th century urban landscape. It is probably one of my least favourite places in Dublin. It's just too crushing an experience to willingly impose on oneself.

Larry Murphy's ironically also deprives the ESB block of an appropriate context. The absence of a red brick Georgian at this corner strips the bookended effect that the block so desperately needs to read as an inserted entity. When viewed from Baggot Street and Fitzwilliam Street Upper, the effect is nothing short of chaotic.

I say we start a campaign to tart up Larry Murphy's. It'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, save a truckload of argument, and prevent our electricity charges increasing from the highest in Europe to the highest in the civilised world. Everyone's a winner.
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby johnglas » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:22 pm

Pertinent as usual, GrahamH; I didn't mention the awfulness of those 'mews' offices, but I suppose it's all remediable in the future. I can remember the tree-lined expanse of Baggot St (Upper/Lower?) - as civilised a streetscape as you'll get anywhere - but I just can't picture LM's; any pics of it?
Incidentally, I think the part of Baggot St on the 'far' side of the canal is a great example of an urban village, which should be used as a template for, for example, Thomas St. (I mean,forget the densification and the drive to oblterate any trace of the street's architectural history; restore what can be restored and insert sensitive infill where you cannot.
What makes areas like this 'work' is the number, range and variety of commercial outlets and institutional uses, with the upper floors intact and also in use. It's not that difficult.)
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby kefu » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:43 pm

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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:28 pm

ESB Head Office Design Competition

ESB has selected a shortlist of architectural submissions to proceed to the detailed design stage of the competition for the redevelopment of ESB’s Head Office at Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2, ESB received a total of 44 submissions from over 60 Irish and International firms of architects, including a number of joint submissions, as part of the initial phase of the competition.

The following firms have now been selected with a view to submitting detailed designs:

List of Shortlisted Contestants

3XN Architects & OMS Architects Ltd
Aedas Architects Ltd & Hodder & Associates
Building Design Partnership (BDP) & Dixon Jones Ltd
Fletcher Priest Architects
Grafton Architects Ltd & O’Mahony Pike Architects Ltd,
DEGW UK Ltd & BDSP Ltd
Henry J Lyons & Partners Architects with Gilroy McMahon Architects
Rafael Vinóly Architects PC
Scott Tallon Walker Architects
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Inc.

Detailed submissions from the shortlisted firms are due to be received in November 2009. It is anticipated that the three design winners will be announced in early 2010.

The jury that will select the three design winners comprises:
Lochlann Quinn (Jury Chairman)Chairman of ESB
Professor Owen LewisArchitect and CEO Sustainable EnergyIreland
John RedmondESB Company Secretary
David Prichard Architect and Director Metropolitan Workshop UK
Joe MaherFormer Finance Director ESB
A.N.OtherInternational Architect TBA
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby jdivision » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:21 pm

Given one of the jury owns a building designed by one of the architects shortlisted afaik one would hope they will be ruled out. But to be honest I think we all know their version of blandness will likely win.
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby Yixian » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:27 pm

Ooh Rafael Vinóly, I'd love to see his entry.
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby shadow » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:01 pm

Given the controversy around the minimum requirements for consideration I wonder how this list came about.

3XN Architects & OMS Architects Ltd
Irish sort

Aedas Architects Ltd & Hodder & Associates
Enormous firm.

Building Design Partnership (BDP) & Dixon Jones Ltd
Business and Art.

Fletcher Priest Architects
I am surpised these had the turnover required.

Grafton Architects Ltd & O’Mahony Pike Architects Ltd,
I am also surprised they have the turnover these days.

DEGW UK Ltd & BDSP Ltd
DEGW was liquidated and shortly afterwards bought out by Davies Langdon and I quote "we won't be doing architecture it does not fit our business model" see http://www.itmps.co.uk/digitaleditions/buildingDesign140809etvq03.html DEGW are gogin to concentrate on space planning and office research......

Henry J Lyons & Partners Architects with Gilroy McMahon Architects
why other than turnover.......?

Rafael Vinóly Architects PC - Agressively expanded into the UK with oversized arts centre in Colchester.

Corporate no brainers shortlisting,

Scott Tallon Walker Architects

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Inc.

Interesting that no clear heritage package regarding possible reintroduction of georgian terrace.
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby missarchi » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:26 pm

I thought BMCEA might be involved in some form...
Just as long as there are no triangle facades I have had enough of them.
How many staff does OMP have at the moment? or HJL? STW?
Hope they publish all of the designs...
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby PTB » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:45 am

I seem to recall that Sean O'Laoire specifically mentioned that Grafton would be unable to compete given their lowish turnover. Even with O'Mahony Pike it's a bit of a stretch
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby ac1976 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:30 am

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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby lostexpectation » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:59 pm

old article on protest from IT printed archives from 1964 http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/1007/1224256097766.html
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby Devin » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:18 pm

View of the ESB terrace. Views of it are hard enough to come by.


Image

Image
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby Andrew Duffy » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:16 pm

See the old Gasometer on John Rogerson's Quay looming in the background. Doesn't pretty much every tall building now have to prove in planning that it won't be visible in the same way?
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:34 pm

Friday's IT

THREE GROUPS of architects, comprising mainly Irish practices, have been chosen to go on to the final stage of the competition to redesign the ESB’s headquarters on Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin.

The practices come in groups because the competition for the office redesign only allowed entries from practices that had a fee income of at least €2.5 million a year which, at the time, narrowed the field to about six architectural firms in Ireland.

The three winning consortiums are Grafton Architects, O’Mahony Pike, DEGW and BDSP; Henry J Lyons and Gilroy McMahon; and Scott Tallon Walker, the last being the only single practice in the final three. The competition attracted 44 entries across the world.

The ESB’s attempts over the years to upgrade its headquarters have often caused sparks and this time is no different. The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) complained to the European Commission over the restrictive conditions set for the competition. The then president of the RIAI, Seán Ó Laoire, met the ESB to discuss the issue on behalf of all architectural practices: his practice, Murray Ó Laoire, has since gone into liquidation.

The ESB’s redevelopment of its offices on Fitzwilliam Street in 1970 led to the demolition of 16 Georgian houses and the company says the latest redevelopment will not affect the Georgian houses it owns on the Mount Street side of its 2.5 acre site. It also requested that the new scheme respect its Georgian surroundings.

The company’s offices comprise different buildings and at the launch of the contest for the new headquarters in April 2009 the ESB asked designers to assume that existing buildings would be demolished.

It also asked for a solution to the controversial Lower Fitzwilliam Street facade, designed by Stephenson Gibney Architects. Some argue, however, that the facade is a good scale and shows respect for the older buildings nearby. The ESB could therefore find itself faced with a lobby to retain the 1970s frontage.

A spokeswoman for the ESB said EU procurement rules meant they could not discuss the three final-stage designs – and none of the practices have posted them on their websites.

Key practices in the consortiums have weathered the recession well. Scott Tallon Walker is working on the Lansdowne Road stadium (with international practice Populous); Henry J Lyons has just finished the Criminal Court in Dublin; Gilroy McMahon is due to redevelop Liberty Hall and Grafton Architects recently won a competition to design a building for the University of Toulouse


suggests local knowledge of a sensitive site won through?
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby tommyt » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:31 pm

STW are moving into the pastiche market I hope:D.
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby missarchi » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:47 am

maybe they go back to there roots one day...

http://www.vimeo.com/8621430
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby hutton » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:07 pm

Andrew Duffy wrote: See the old Gasometer on John Rogerson's Quay looming in the background. Doesn't pretty much every tall building now have to prove in planning that it won't be visible in the same way?


Correct. It would have been one of the reasons that Treasury's 35 storey try-on at the National Conference Centre would not have been on - it would have seriously impacted on the closure of this vista, being somewhat off-centre.

tommyt wrote:STW are moving into the pastiche market I hope:D.


LOL. I love it :D

I tell you one thing, if their attempt is anything like the grunt ugly two floor top-up they proposed for the houses adjacent to the Shelbourne Hotel, well... ;)
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby Morlan » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:34 pm

ESB spokeswoman wrote:A final decision on the winning design will be made by the board of the ESB in the summer.


Still nothing yet, or have I missed something? I really want to see these designs.
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby missarchi » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:30 am

prices only go up mega what?

http://www.tribune.ie/business/news/article/2010/sep/12/neil-callanan-council-backs-faux-georgian-esb-buil/

google would support this? 12m wide floor plates the best?

Image
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Re: ESB Headquarters Fitzwilliam Street

Postby tomredwest » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:34 pm

if faux georgians are going in here hopefully they won't be as ugly as the ones on the north quays near four courts.
they're pointless and stand out a mile
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