Dublin City Central Public Library

Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby garethace » Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:45 pm

What do people here think about this wonderful institution? And its respective branches about the city of Dublin. Is it just my imagination, but is the standard of public Library buildings actually under-par in this city? Does anyone know of a really well design one here in Dublin? I am aware of some nice college Libraries in Dublin and other cities or towns. I am aware of many nice public Libraries in even small towns in the rest of Ireland.

One thing that struck me, straight away after walking into the Dublin city central Library is the need for a couple of good thesis projects working on this particular problem. Has it ever been tackled at 5th year level does anyone know? I remember being in the Pompidou Centre in Paris - granted a different city, culture, scale - but still, the shere rigour of the organisation of floors and access is something that the Irish scene could well do with. There is a Master Plan at the moment for Rathmines, but wouldn't that have been a rather nice site, upon which to build a really world-class, up-to-date public institution for the whole of Dublin city?

Or is the Henry Street where a Central Library for Dublin should be? In any case, I think the Illac Centre effort is a very understated public profile for a major institution. A point on its design conception or lack of it: in the 1970s or whenever it was completed, did people not want to spend any time actually reading a book in the Central Public Library - there is more seating almost in Waterstones bookstore! Another point: From what I could ascertain from a brief half an hour spent wandering around it, I could distinguish a great many different specialised departments. It is a long, long time since I have studied or even considered the programme of a modern Public Library institution. But it is a veritable complex of different functions - reminding more of the Meeting House Square Saturday food stalls gathering - lots and lots of different specialists sellilng their wares.

I think a third level college Library is very different from a Public Library. I cannot quite understand why yet, but it is just a feeling I have. For one thing, in a college Library the reading/studying/working tables and sound proof meeting cubicles have a far greater emphasis in the brief. The Illac Central Library feels more like Waterstones. I know that the National Gallery of Ireland has actual extended very recently. And in a way, I am a bit sad that investment wasn't put towards a decent 'All-in-one' public institution for the whole of Dublin, along the lines of the Pompidou.

Especially as, the top floor of the National Art Gallery new Section is a travelling pay-per-view exhibition area anyhow. I was just speaking to someone who wants to re-develop Parnell Square with the existing Modern Art Gallery, new Metro Station etc, etc, blah, blah. I suggest that it would be an excellent site to put a new Central Public Library Institution. Far out? Perhaps. Why not begin a thread here of notions, views, ideas and opinions about the Public Library as an Institution.

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Postby garethace » Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:52 pm

I think there are some really nice impressive public spaces for Libraries designed around the world. Didn't some of the Neo-Classical Architects design good Libraries? I am rather afraid, one would need to travel abroad to experience true excellence in this department. Sure Trinity by ABK/McCullough Mulvin is there, but it isn't a Public Institution. There is the old Library in Trinity too, which is very 'Buffy-chic' indeed. I think a guy called Norberg Schulz spoke a lot about public institutions in modern society as did others like Alto, Kahn etc, etc. Any thoughts are very welcome.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:54 pm

The Last time the Establishment built a decent Library with public cash was probably Marshes Library in the 18th Centuary. As the Carnegie Libraries were paid for by The US Charitable Foundation of the same name.

Surely in the context of Docklands rejuvination a contemporary Library of a high spec could and should be built. Given that the Abbey Theatre is now going to remain in Abbey St. A Library is one of the few public buildings that can reasonably be expected to run at a loss into perpetuity as a societal benifit.

One might suspect that one of Roches US college libraries might provide a decent model. Possibly even be part funded by the Ford Foundation in recognition of his contribution to their high spec working environment.
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Postby emf » Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:11 pm

Any one been in the new library on Pearse St yet!!
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Postby PVC King » Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:12 pm

The Gibson Library on Pearse St is a good library but it lacks scale and unfortunately will never provide a 'venue' type space for public
lectures concerts, etc
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Postby garethace » Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:44 pm

There are two reasons in particular I wanted to highlight this topic.

The first being that so much recently has focussed around Bertie Bowl's, Lad-ism and instant gratification. Whereas, 'a space for reading' is something perhaps less 'Celebrity-oriented', since the celebrities do not wear footie gear, but are in the pages of the books. I don't think a new Library will ever have as much PR glamour as a Bertie Bowl, but its value is difficult to calculate longer term.

The other point I would like to make, is that nowadays in many parts of the country, the shopping centre has become a leisure activity, or just 'a place to bring the kids' at weekends. Illac is possibly not a place to allow your loved ones to roam, but the form of retail space has changed radically in the last while. Henry Street is perhaps a much bigger scale retail space now than anything on the south side. That just 'sort of happened' overnight, by a few very large projects.

While the south side of the river does perhaps have more 'culture', it is just worth stressing the notion, that consumerist hysteria and multi-storey parking shouldn't be allowed to make the North bank as monotone an environment, as Temple Bar has become from a point of view of bars and clubs.

I don't know exactly what is the best antidote to this 'monotone-ism' of Dublin city at the present. But if you sift around through the monotony, there are still 'different' kinds of institutions to be found. I still like the profile of a building like the Pompidou centre. I like the way it was a public institution - not just a box devoted to Argos and Sony centres. It is a while now since Pompidou was built, but seeing as shopping has become so celebrated in modern city living, I just feel that something trully public, educational and aspirational is a very fitting counter-balance.

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Postby kefu » Fri Dec 05, 2003 5:56 pm

There are tremendous new library buildings in Cabra (at intersection of Navan Road, New Cabra Road, Old Cabra Road) and in Blanchardstown (at the shopping centre). That's just two examples and I'm sure there are many more.
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Postby kefu » Fri Dec 05, 2003 5:56 pm

There are tremendous new library buildings in Cabra (at intersection of Navan Road, New Cabra Road, Old Cabra Road) and in Blanchardstown (at the shopping centre). That's just two examples and I'm sure there are many more.
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Postby garethace » Fri Dec 05, 2003 6:30 pm

Thanks, I will just have to get out there and see some! Thanks again very much.
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby fergus » Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:37 pm

I was just wondering has anyone seen the plans for the Illac ( I knoiw its half built already) I went to have a look at the applation in the coco yesterday but couldn't be bothered waiting at the back of the que of auld women complaining about stuff bein' too modern and decided I'd prefere go for a nice coffee in la Corta instead. I thought I might find it on the web but had no luck anyone know who designed it ? or are there immages anywhere?
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby Lotts » Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:22 pm

You'll get most of the info on the applications at the City councils planning search website.

Easiest way to see an overview of what relates to the overall development of the ILAC is to put
Firmount Limited
into the Location/Proposal Search: field on this page

(Other searchs will swamp youwith minor chjages of use and a undividual shop changes use...)

They havn't started putting up the scanned plans (drawings) yet though. Be good when they do.
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby garethace » Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:11 pm

I think they squandered a very, very valuable opportunity in the IIlac, not to remove some of the shopping centre altogether, and just devote a square of land, for open space urban use. Mr. G. Mitchell Architect, in his recent talk at Wood Quay highlighted just how many of the new open spaces in existing urban centres, are being created this way in the continent,... the roof for an underground car park, becoming the surface of a new urban plaza or square. It would have been a very interesting approach to take with the IIlac shopping centre site. A decent public area, should have been considered a 'must' in the original scheme all those years ago,.. because Parnell Street at the present, with all the development along its length, now has no breathing space whatsoever,... just a narrow strip of 'land' running down its centre where pedestrian have to get to, to sort of 'cross-the-road' on a two-step strategy. The only trouble with underground parking, is it costs many times more than multi-storey, and considerably more money than surface ground car-parking does.

A decent new urban space, instead of what they are now building, facing onto Parnell Street, was a really squandered opportunity, even if you had to go higher on the surrounds to that new urban square,... than just doing this single-storey shopping centre design, which is more at home in the suburbs, and even there, the Dundrum Shopping Centre now manages to have three storeys of shopping space, with underground parking also. I must say, the idea of entering the shopping centre at Dundrum from the roof of the underground car park at the rear, though having its problems in the final execution, was centainly an inspired route to actually take. If my memory of Blanchardstown Shopping Centre serves me right, they have made us of multiple levels there too. It all makes me wonder how these city centre shopping centres like the IIlac are so 'short-sighted' in their whole approach. When you are doing a public Library for the city,... it is just not good enough, to arrive and depart from that public library experience, through a fake indoor pond with pebbles, where the main attraction is an ice-cream stall. You really want a good public library to become a part of a high quality urban space, or park, or something if you can at all. Then at least the Mom's pushing their kids around, can feel as if they 'got something' from the trip to the Library too,... instead of needing to 'wade' through commercialism to get to and from the Library proper.


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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby Rory W » Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:05 pm

The developer of the Dundrum Centre has just bought 50% of the Ilac - perhaps some innovation will be brought to the redevelopment?
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:24 pm

It's strange how little if any information has emerged here or elsewhere about the Ilac redevelopment. Usually these schemes are launched with great fanfare and a host of renderings.
Is the centre effectively being demolished or just every concievable surface being stripped back to the concrete and reclad?!

Here's what little is available on British Land's site (presumably referring to 2004 before selling their share):


"At the ILAC Shopping Centre, Dublin, owned in conjunction with Irish Life, we entered into an agreement to lease 1,300 sq m (14,000 sq ft) on two trading levels to provide a flagship store for H&M, one of Europe's leading fashion retailers. This transaction involves the remodelling of the principal Mary Street entrance, being the first element of the proposed phased refurbishment of the Centre."


Also two (dodgy) images of the new Mary St elevation which make a bit more sense than the towering blank wall there at the minute:

Image
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby garethace » Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:14 pm

The developer of the Dundrum Centre has just bought 50% of the Ilac - perhaps some innovation will be brought to the redevelopment?


I will will get back to Dundrum shortly, but for now, I will just say this much on the IIlac Centre. It would have been nice I think to have created a square at the corner of Moore Street and Parnell Street, sort of a starting point, from which that entire area could have been centred,,... I mean, some grand jesture of open space. The city needs to breadth,.. I know DCC are busy in plans to borrow around through all of that area, using the Rotonda and god knows what else,.. but this borrowing they always do,... is just like a 'knee-jerk' response they have acquired down through the years for dealing with almost every problem in Dublin.

Look at Moore Street and the condition it has deteriorated into? Imagine if there was some fresh air breathed into that area, with the creation of a major public space, on the location I have described, that very corner of Moore Street and Parnell Street,.. that space should have been created to revitalise Moore Street as an entiry, and to link the Rotunda development, O' Connell Street through the Carlton, and Henry Street to Parnell Street, and also bring all of that social housing up towards Dorset Street into the picture too,.. broadstone, Constitution Hill all these areas, need badly to have a focus,... and that is the real opportunity that has been squandered with the IIlac site. But that is the whole trouble with O'Connell Street and Henry Street re-develeopment in my view, it has perhaps detracted from everything else around it... focus has definitely been lost on other key opportunities and land in the city centre, because of the attention paid exclusively to 'banner' projects like LUAS, O'Connell Street and Henry Street.

The mere fact, that Parnell Street has been created in a way, that is so hostile to pedestrians, further reinforces my own conviction, that DCC does not understand at all how to create an environment in that area, that is focussed from the point of view of people walking and doing their thing,.. as opposed to driving in by car from Clontarf or someplace. All of those shoots of cars, turning into car parking all along Parnell Street effectively kills whatever chance that Street had to start off with,... it is a real example of a mess. I mean, even in front of the new Pennys, you are still losing pavement there, to car parking spaces on the street. Sometimes, it is not so much how many cars you bring into the city,... but much rather, how you handle those cars when you do allow them in. Parnell Street has effectively been used 'as a back-door' to Henry Street. Sure that is very good for Henry Street, but it has been achieved at far too high a price, with the destruction of Parnell Street's chances to become sometime positive too. The over-emphasis on 'Henry Street' as 'a sucessful project',... as this mono-use, pedestrian hell-hole of commercialism, has detracted attention away from other worthwhile opportunities on streets like Parnell Street... this favouritism between streets is all warped. Sometimes you can make one street just too pedestrian like Henry Street, and not leave enough consideration for the pedestrian, as you can see now at Parnell Street.

In my view, Henry Street has been too sucessful and Parnell Street has not been successful enough. This is the high price ones pays, for going all 'black and white',... but that is how DCC seems to have approach the problem. With Henry Street pristine clean, white granite for pedestrians, and Parnell Street, dirty, smelly, oily, car-fumes, service entrance. Then of course, the one link between Henry Street and Parnell Street... is this 'Limbo-Land' of un-resolved issues,... this hair-brain, in-between space, where you can take your pick of several different salons offering an Afro-Caribbean Hair Cut, of all things! That is the trouble I think, when you try to organise and plan everything so clean, well defined and tidy - you can over-manage the entire thing. It is very easy to treat Parnell Street as a kind of back entrance to Henry Street of course, because noone up there is going to complain. Because everything north of the IIlac is blanket social housing. It is a very poor reflection upon DCC's opinion of social housing, and of their own city itself, that it allows Parnel Street to be treated in the manner it has done. I mean, even here at Archiseek, there is a huge thread a mile and a half long, describing everything on O' Connell Street, but not one single mutter about the mistakes made with Parnell Street. It is a great achievement to have made so much discussion on a single street, but therein lies most of the problems we face here in Dublin too, with regard to the design of our city.


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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby Lotts » Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:50 am

garethace wrote:...even here at Archiseek, there is a huge thread a mile and a half long, describing everything on O' Connell Street, but not one single mutter about the mistakes made with Parnell Street. It is a great achievement to have made so much discussion on a single street, but therein lies most of the problems we face here in Dublin too, with regard to the design of our city.

If we were to devote as much time to discussing Parnell Street we'd all end up depressed. Ever since the dual carraige way was knocked through there, there has been nothing built of interest. Suppose we could argue about which mistake was the biggest ! ;)
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby StephenC » Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:32 pm

I agree Parnell is a triumph of bad planning and lack of imagination. The policy towards it seems to have been build anything as long as those caparks and vacant sites get filled. I cant see anything on that street thats worth highlighting. The area north of O'Connell St is even worse.

I agree with a lot of your sentiments Brian regarding ILAC being a lost opportunity. This is a huge site and what they are doing to it now is sticky plaster stuff. Further images and details can be seen on display in the "malls' themselves. Totally banal stuff. But that is what the retail sector is offering up. I certainly didnt feel Dundrum was a stunning departure from the retail centres of the last 10 years. Its just bigger!

Back to Libraries. I remeber when the Ilac library opened it was lauded (in our parochial 1980s way) as a major project and was full of state of the art technology (scanners, anti-theft devices, search facilities etc). It should eb remembered that most library services were being provided by lorry trailers left in spots in estates. ours certainly was.

I think a new stand alone facility would be a really important addition to the city. Perhaps the Abbey site (if/when it becomes vacant) would be a good location. An architectural landmark perhaps with a pedestrian space in front and a new link to the south quays.
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby TLM » Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:50 pm

I think Parnell Square was suggested as a location for the city library in the development plan.
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jul 01, 2005 6:28 pm

Considering the original 80s plan for the inner city was all but shelved aside from the Ilac, did the City Library constructed live up to the original scale and scope intended either?

Whereas the diversity offered to the Ilac by the Library is welcome, the idea of it moving to a more 'signature' location has great appeal. Saying that, I think it would be preferable to relocate within the existing Ilac site with a street frontage as well as internal access. It's lost in there as it is.

Brian you've perfectly summed it up about Parnell St - it is exactly as you describe, the back yard, the service area, the plant room - not only of Henry St, but of the inner city in general.
Everyone sails in on its crude dual-carriageway ignoring the streetscape and environs and what they may have to offer, up into the gaping mouths of the various car parks belching their fumes around Parnell St's patrons, and then ta da! - out the other side into the nice and shiny city centre as if everything they've just come through never even existed.

And I'd include myself in that brigade - used to do the exact same 'going into town' for Christmas, park the car on a derelict site, pay someone in a shed to look after it and saunter off into the city 'proper', as if it only started with Henry St.

The land uses, the building uses, the architecture, and the public domain are all dismal.
The construction of Jury's (whatever about the building itself) really was a low point for pedestrians on the street, making its entire western side a virtual obstacle course. The black holes of multistoreys and service bays demonstrate the most abominable planning and disregard for pedestrians; it never fails to raise a cynical smirk at how the (comparitively :)) well-heeled pedestrians of Jervis St are protected by dedicated parking personnel, and the free-for-all state of affairs on Parnell St.

And as for the oft-forgotton eastern end of the street, as was pointed out by (Stephen C?) before it is like an 80s timewarp up there.
A public space as you describe Brian at that crucial corner for the north inner city is a very good idea - it would link together so many important elements, not to mention provide some breathing space for the pedestrians of Parnell Street.
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Re: Dublin City Central Public Library

Postby garethace » Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:12 pm

I agree Parnell is a triumph of bad planning and lack of imagination. The policy towards it seems to have been build anything as long as those caparks and vacant sites get filled. I cant see anything on that street thats worth highlighting. The area north of O'Connell St is even worse.


I wish it were just down to something as simple, as 'bad planning' or 'lack of imagination',... but I am afraid, it goes much deeper than that even. It points to a very fundamental lack of confidence, in how to build, that we as a nation still suffer from in 2005, and possibly goes all the ways back to Famine times too. The only place to confront this sad under-confidence, is right in the architectural schools, where instead of decorating over the cracks and trouble, with reference to Rem Koolhaas or Foreign Office Architects, we badly need to admit we have a collective problem, a systemic brain seizure in this regard, and look at solving that problem initially.

Whenever the city decides to build up an area, the way that Parnell Street has got built up in the past couple of years, there should be a very strong parallel initiative, with suitably able designers, looking at the pedestrian and public spaces,... that should be a must, not an option. Whenever you cover as much vacant land, as has been done now in Parnell St., right from the off, there should be embedded in the entire masterplan, a provision for 'X' amount of new open public space, which is treated as a high quality of open space, not a token gesture, just to gather beer-cans for the next 20 years and generally become an eyesore. But a real jesture, back to the city, that 'we care about it's condition' and the people living within the environment of the city. The fact, that you can go ahead and build up an area such as Parnell Street without any focus on these sorts of issues, just speaks for itself, about how we 'build' in this country, in any city, any small town or countryside.

I see exactly the same kind of lack of confidence, and positive initiative displayed in other schemes around Dublin city too. The scheme to 're-develop' Stillorgan Shopping Centre is certainly one that springs to my mind. It is a unique opportunity to deal with open public space - yet that was entirely absent from the presentation put up on display. It is like the main driving force, behind that whole project, was that 'Dundrum is just down the road' and poses serious competition. In other words, from the off, you are trying to initiate something based on reasons of fear rather than couragiousness. I have a suspicion that a lot of new schemes do happen, within this overall context of 'fear' as a motivation, rather than something else.

I certainly didnt feel Dundrum was a stunning departure from the retail centres of the last 10 years. Its just bigger!


I really need to get around to doing my review piece on Dundrum, I took some major points down on paper, when I was visiting there a couple of evenings in a row, last week. I gave it a while, until the hype had sort of died down, until I could look at the project calmly and rationally. More to follow.

...full of state of the art technology (scanners, anti-theft devices, search facilities etc.


Yeah, they managed to include everything, except the 'architecture'. :-) I have thought a bit about Library design myself, because of two reasons. One, I like to read and enjoy an environment condusive to reading of anything. Secondly, because a lot of major figure architects down through the years have left their stamp on this building type,... Eric Gunnar Asplund, Alvar Alto, Louis Kahn, Rem Koolhaas, Bolles Wilson,... I am sure there are tonnes of others I am leaving out. There is still a lot of case to be made though, that in urban centres, the web cafe might have become the new 'public library'. That would certainly be an interesting line to take with a design thesis or something I would think. I mean, lets not just build 'a new Library', just because, we think, we need to build a new public Library. Des McMahon, the architect, is always saying, what is it? Whenever, he goes to approach any new design. So a public library in 2005, and for the future, what is it?

Brian you've perfectly summed it up about Parnell St - it is exactly as you describe, the back yard, the service area, the plant room - not only of Henry St, but of the inner city in general.
Everyone sails in on its crude dual-carriageway ignoring the streetscape and environs and what they may have to offer, up into the gaping mouths of the various car parks belching their fumes around Parnell St's patrons, and then ta da! - out the other side into the nice and shiny city centre as if everything they've just come through never even existed.


Parnell Street has huge, massive retail opportunities, but from the beginning, it was ear-marked for something else - just like the oldest son, on a farm of land or business, is supposed to stay and look after things. Or as women in the olden times, were pre-designated to stay at home and mind kids etc. There was just a kind of pre-decision as to the faith of Parnell Street, which I certainly don't think was helpful or intelligent at all. Getting cars into the town, is not a bad thing,... but it would be clever, to allow people to disperse around a much wider area of the city centre, when they arrive, rather than being dog-collared around a pre-designated route, as is the current philosophy. Then you could see streets like Parnell Street, the upper reaches of O'Connell Street, Capel Street and so on, becoming much more than nightclub areas, and weird in-between spaces. The notion of front door/back door is something that has been repeated in other cities around Ireland aswell. It is probably a trick learned from some other country like cities in England, Paris etc, etc. I am sure planners, just like Architects are groupie's too, in that respect of copying was is done elsewhere. But cities are complex organisms, and they deserve a little more thought than repeating the same cookie-cutter solution a million times.

There is a certain behaviour I have seen in Dublin, with regard to urban design, of tackling things, 'a street at a time'. It is just positively weird right now, how people applaud how well Henry Street looks, while lesser places like Moore Street look as if a Civil War had happened there recently. Of course, that is what the current tenants of Moore Street would like one to believe to keep rents at rock-bottom prices. While at the same time, benefitting highly, through association, to the richer big brother, which is now Henry Street. The lack of a strong approach, by Dublin city, to create a positive urban jesture on the corner of Parnell Street and Moore Street is just going to further reinforce the whole pitiful charade. I guess DCC approaches urban design using the 'boot-strapping' approach. Now we have fixed O'Connell Street and Henry Street, and done something with Abbey Street, we will try to 'pull-up' the rest, by their boot-straps. This is unfortunate, it would be far more realistic to bring everything up together at a steady rate,... instead of approaching each consecutive area one after the other,... like you would an army, trying to clean an urban area of undesirable resistance. It has a funny kind of effect on cities, as soon as an area, is set to receieve 'the treatment' all of the quirky stores, and stuff that lends some character, or diversity, scurries off to someplace else, and buys themselves another decade, before the cycle repeats again.

And I'd include myself in that brigade - used to do the exact same 'going into town' for Christmas, park the car on a derelict site, pay someone in a shed to look after it and saunter off into the city 'proper', as if it only started with Henry St.


Directed along the pre-designated route no doubt. The whole attitude of DCC to the pedestrian, rarely gets far away from the idea that you instruct the pedestrian what it must do, where it should go, and when it should go there. It is like some oppressive regime, which was never going to overlay very well on top of the complexity of urban life. Louis Kahn, the architect had a lovely name for these tunnels, that DCC seem to love making,... in lieu of proper open public jestures,... he called them 'Sneak Passages'. The extremely anti-social 'Sneak Passage' is by far the most dominant new urban form, throughout Dublin in the last few decades,... the IIlac being one of the most notorious in my humble view. It reminds me of those Vietnam War movies, where you see the Viet Cong burrowing around in the ground, trying to make themselves invisible to the Americans.

That brand new pedestrian way, through the wine bars and stuff, after you cross the Millenium bridge now, is anything but a 'social space' I think,... if anything it is almost anti-social,... because there are so many people drinking there, and so many eyeballs looking at you, that you just have to move on,... it is like one of those larger rooms within the earth, the Viet Cong used to make, along there tunnels, where the living quarters would be. Especially when you have a grand new urban space over at Wolf Tone Square, within nobody using it at all, think of how well that square could have worked, had DCC put the new pedestrian bridge in line, with Jervis Street, as was designed in the Temple Bar framework plan. No, I am afraid the DCC 'strong handed approach' to things, just doesn't suit, when it comes to urban design in a city centre area. Sorry guys, but you just cannot force pedestrians to behave the way you wish,... it is exactly like trying to dictate to an ant colony, or trying to herd cats. Sooner or later, they are going to beat even the most determined trainer.

That is how you get the dicotomy, that is Moore Street and Henry Street. Commerce has become attuned now, to DCC's approach of tackling problems, street by street. With the small shops always nesting in areas, with the lowest rents and greatest proximity to a major, 'over-tuned', fancy, all bells and whistles, Henry Street type of approach by DCC to urban design. Think about it, the worst looking street in Dublin right now, is Moore Street, and it is located right along side the best looking shopping street at the moment. As I said, if DCC wasn't such a big 'King Kong' kind of figure moving around the city, doing it's thing,... if it brought the whole city, up more gradually as a whole,... it would be less visible to the kind of Moore Street effect, where you drive an area into a slum, on purpose, to lower you rents and maximise your profits. Dublin City Council, in short, needs to wear camouflage I think.


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