Royal Dublin Hotel

Postby Zap » Wed Apr 30, 2003 4:49 pm

The GPO is a neo classical structure - pastiche? O'Connell St. an attempted Greek theme park? A hark back to another age and era - certainly.

The use of upper case is a bit severe, don't you think?

As for me, I can't say I would ever prefer dereliction to anything - as bad as the poor apartment buildings are all over the city, I prefer them to the dereliction that i saw before them and can't understand why anyone would think otherwise.
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Postby dmcg » Wed Apr 30, 2003 4:52 pm

didn't mean anything by it.....
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Postby LOB » Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:07 pm

leave Victorian Architecture to the Victorians etc etc.

I feel a bit brutalist today but i think that was the wine last night.

Cities are a living things & should reflect that.
resorting to pastiche is proof of a crisis of confidence in our own time
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Postby GregF » Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:14 pm

Pastiche on the main thouraghfare would merely turn it into a Disneyland....a mere contrivance.....as Las Vegas with it's recreations of Paris, Venice ...etc.....
O'Connell Street today is a mixture of styles over a period of years..........not just one particular era.
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Postby Zap » Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:17 pm

Its unfortunate that there is very few examples of great modern design sitting well with its surroundings in this city. I personally can't think of many at all.
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Postby J. Seerski » Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:20 pm

People!!!! Look to the National Gallery Extension in London for inspiration - modern architecture that plays with the historic context. Fits in to the entirity, but is unashamedly modern.
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Postby dmcg » Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:34 pm

how about 'the yoke on the oak' or styne house is it? on corner of harcourt st across from the pod
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Postby J. Seerski » Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:37 pm

vile vile vile......
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Postby dmcg » Wed Apr 30, 2003 6:21 pm

oh dear oh dear.....vicar st perhaps?
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Apr 30, 2003 10:32 pm

WOW, I touched on a vein there!

Eh, everyone, pastiche as defined in the Oxford dictionary as meaning a bad imitation of something, you seem to be mixing it up with 'replicas' as it were, or anything not modern.
Anyway, to be honest I'd hate to see Victorian follies on the street, I said it in haste.
But it dosn't sway me in the slightest from having at least reserved redbrick dressed stone facades, in keeping with most of the street.

I agree Paul that the RDH end is a shambles and always has been, but the rest of the st isn't & wasn't. And considering that the southern end is the most unified part of the st, it makes it even more unaccepable for the likes of the schuh building to be butting in.

I 'surveyed' the street today, and looking at the schuh bldg, it is unbelivably out of place.
Out of the total of 73 properties on the street, (I'm sad enough to have counted), 65 are 'historic', ie pre 1930, 2 are tiny brick clad stuctures at the top end, unnoticable, and the remaining six are the nasty usual suspects, Pennys, Bus, Fingal, RDH, Eircom and Schuh.
As I say, there is no architectural unity to the RDH end, but there would be a historic unity if the buildings mentioned weren't there, nothing spectacular would prevail, but a sense of character would.

Although frankly I'd prefer modern structures on the St any day if new 'sympathetic' structures built were to be treated in the manner the present ones currently are.
Most of them are in the most appaling condition above street level, with a century of grime on them, and most of the windows look like they haven't seen a coat of paint since the Rising. And as for the invasion of PVC!
Carrolls 'Irish' gifts beside Ann Summers looks like they had their PVCs installed a mere 1/2 years ago, are they not banned on the st?
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Postby ew » Thu May 01, 2003 11:24 am

What's the story with the illuminated signage? I heard that there was a proposal to ban it on the street, but it seems to me that that would lead to the removal of the happy ring house sign and the baileys ad. I kinda like those.
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Postby StephenC » Thu May 01, 2003 11:30 am

Keep the happy ring house... but dump the Baileys sign. I think it looks grubby and the building its on needs a lick of paint
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Postby d_d_dallas » Thu May 01, 2003 11:58 am

I think there was movement to remove the Happy Ring House sign, and there was resistance... so it stays.

Alot of very good points have been made over the last few pages by everyone. And everyone is entitled to their opinion, but just because I say something it doesn't mean it's THE FACT - the same applies to everyone else.

Graham, you obviously feel passionately for the Street and I don't think I'm being unfair by saying you do like your "old-school" styles.

However I can't help but feel that to put in replicas smacks of an unimaginative vision, and to a certain extent... romanticism of past times. O'Connell st may have had a plan, not all plans get completed - how many unbuilt projects are there, or details that never made it to the final construction. We use it now - we live here - it is 2003. We should add our own layer and not grovel to another generation. I think there's an element of truth to the Theme Park analogy.
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Postby GrahamH » Thu May 01, 2003 12:36 pm

You know what, the many good points from 'your side' has actually swayed me slightly.
I have come to my final conclusion that O' Connell St has always progressed.
Gardiner created a unified composition, which the Wide Sts Comms adapted sypathetically for commercial uses, then the Victorians came along and wreaked havoc on the street with their 'feature' buildings, then the 20th century came and bombed the backside out of half of it, resulting in a fantastic opportunity to restore some architectural unity to it, which was achieved to a degree in the 20s & 30s.

I have been swayed to agree that a more modern, nonetheless sympathetic, facade is appropriate for the RDH and Eircom simply due their lage, expansive facades, where the potential exists to create landmark buildings at the upper end.
However, looking at Dublin Bus and Schuh again this morning as I was passing, there is absolutely no excuse for modern facades on these. Both are very narrow buildings, both exist in entirely brick clad and older terraces, and both exist in the lower, or near the lower unified part of the street.
Building modern here smacks of sheer arrogance, that 'we must make a statement'.

Building 'replicas' in the areas I mention is not a theme park attitude, if that were the case, is Harcourt St a theme park? Or the east side of Stephens Green? Or the south and west sides of Mountjoy Sq? Or all wooden Victorian shopfronts going up in every town and village across the country?
Building 'old' as it were, in strictly limited areas to either architecturally or historically unify an area is not a bad thing.

I think its very interesting though, that if Gilbeys, once one of the city's finest Victorian buildings, that existed on the Fingal site, was demolished today, there would be absolute uproar over the issue and an immediate order would be slapped on the developer to rebuild it faithfully, down to the last doorknob. And yet, because 30 years pass by with Fingal in its place, the whole idea of rebuilding now is completely laughed at. Indeed, such is the extent of this irony, that it is entirely likely that if its owners proposed to built Gilbeys now, it would'nt even get planning permission!

Just found out that Carrolls Gifts and all of it's terrace has been protected since at least 1991, long before its PVCs was installed upstairs.

And I also see that the GPO have lodged an application to modify the Princes St entrance to the building. But the sheer ignorance of An Post, they have posted the application on the HENRY ST side, of the building, so anyone seeing it couldn't be bothered to go around to the other side to inspect the development. But above all, its posted as high as is possible on the lower sash of the window so the average passerby can't read it. I could barely make it out, other than interventions to the exterior stonework and modifications to the 30s interior lobby.
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Postby notjim » Thu May 01, 2003 12:45 pm

what's important is dominant materials and the parapet lines, fix those and demand quality and then street will be fine with a modern building.
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Postby James » Thu May 01, 2003 1:11 pm

I think Graham has a point.

The main argument in terms of applying a 'familiar' facade and urban treatment ot a street like O'Connell St is that it applies a contextual language that the street is 'comfortable' with.

The real challenge in doing this is do do so in such a way that the facade actually reflects the interior treatemnt (or maybe the other way around) so as to produce intelligent good quality buildings.

All this talk of style and modernism V pastiche is an architectural red herring. Lutyens only died in 1944 and right up to that date was producing work of great integrity in a numbere of historical idioms.

My own favorite architect - Oliver Hill who was one of the founders of the Mars and CIAM movements (and incidentally ws Michael Hopkins mentor during his very long career) at various times was quite happy to work in any style the client wanted just so long as he was allowed to bring it to a logical contextual conclusion - so his 'stockbroker Tudor' stripped classical country houses are fantastic and enjoyable pieces of work and in many ways just as inventive as his favoured Deco Moderne such as the Morecombe Hotel where he worked with Eric Gill and his best house Jolwynds (if you want to see his moderne work watch Poirot).

The point is - if you are going to do this kind of thing it should be doen well - usually its done atrociously badly by fairly talentless hacks who see it as an easy route to planning permission.

As to pastiche - well the kind of modernism that is so vaunted in Dublin is nearly 80 years old and most of it (including the Bensons National Gallery) harkens back to the 1930's at latest, its just as prone to facadism but usually better executed.

to conclude - all architecture is pastichism because consciously or unconsciously it refers to something previously built - whether fad of the moment in last months AR or Burlingtons town house (eg: Trinity's Provosts house and many others).

its crtazy getting hung up on 'isms' and ideologies in architecture and makes the whole businessfar too 'po faced' and exclusive.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Thu May 01, 2003 1:18 pm

On the same line as Harcourt St being a themepark... As beautiful as edinburgh is I always get this odd feeling like I'm in Vegas!!!
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Postby StephenC » Thu May 01, 2003 1:35 pm

Surely the point of Las vegas is that you almost feel you are in Eginburgh, Paris, Luxor, Rome.... What you are suggesting is that the original feels like a pastiche of the pastiche (I am getting to hate this word!)
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Postby d_d_dallas » Thu May 01, 2003 3:18 pm

Yes - let's avoid the "p" word from now on... The Vegas remark was a tad glib! I guess Edinburgh comes across as so "perfect" it feels like a Georgian Theme Park (although Disneyland never looked that good!).

I suppose I felt that way having contrasted it to Glasgow and our own fair city, which really have scars and look as though they has a history - whereas beautiful Edinburgh is suspiciously Dorian Gray like - if you catch my drift...
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Postby merriman mick » Thu May 01, 2003 9:48 pm

I haven't viewed the new designs but if what you describe as modern is in fact excellent quality contemporary design then I would choose this over non-contemporary design.

This is the only way real inventive architecture can be rewarded, by giving exciting new work a chance.

Anyone got any pics of the new designs ?
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Postby GrahamH » Fri May 02, 2003 2:02 pm

Suppose they would actually help matters here wound'nt they!

I'm glad I've now cleared up in my own mind what I'd like to see on the st, and in what areas, thanks to the many heated opinions, (although admittedly I'd still like to see sash windowed bricked facades above anything else, no elaborate follies though), I am apparently after all 'of the old school'- I'd like to think of the enlighted variety.

What exactly is the 'new school' then?!?
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Postby StephenC » Fri May 02, 2003 3:00 pm

I gald you are happier Graham but remember the what we say on this site doesn't have the least bearing on what goes on in the big bad world. RHD will most likely put up some ugly crap facade that they will be looking to replace in 30 years time and the wheel will turn full circle again.....
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Postby bluefoam » Fri May 02, 2003 3:58 pm

I have to say, I don't mind if the street is furbished with replicas or modern contempoary buildings. I would however say that the buildings that do go up should be of a very high architectural standard and the cost of materials for building is no excuse for poor design. Dublin has seen a lot of nice buildings go up in recent years, but there is also a huge amount of cr*p.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Wed May 07, 2003 5:27 pm

Hahahaha! Maybe the cheapo crap designs are keeping some practices in business - design low spec so you know in twenty odd years the "face lift" commission will come your way again!
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Postby Aken » Wed May 07, 2003 10:25 pm

In principal graham I do agree with you. BUT (And I'm not going to use pastiche) If an attempt was made to re-create a Victorian facade on the RDH, It would look almost as out of place as the Planned building. It seems that it is simply impossible to re-create a victorian edifice (without spending outlandish amounts of money, which i'm sure is the last thing the owners of the RDH want to do) that doesn't look just like that, a re-creation.
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