York Street

Re: York Street

Postby a boyle » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:16 pm

Andrew Duffy wrote:They aren't Georgian, they are 1940s replicas. It is possible that some of the doorcases are original.


If it means bringing new life a run down nook of the city then tear away.

The doors are nothing special: they are narrow and very plain. And the photos show that the insides had nothing of interest. We can't keep everything. Stick to saving original things! Too much nostalgia and we would get nowhere!
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Re: York Street

Postby Bago » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:22 am

Has anyone seen the skeletal remains of the buildings? With the windows and floors removed the newly exposed interior walls are a bizarre patchwork of very strong primary and vibrant colours,.... indicative of their time or?..... anyone for a lime sittingroom.
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Re: York Street

Postby Punchbowl » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:40 pm

Enough to make a grown man cry..
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Re: York Street

Postby hell » Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:49 pm

I would just like to say that the new building to replace the York Street flats is (in my humble opinion) a very fine proposal to re-house the exisitng tenants while providing modern standards - fire safety central heating etc. The exisitng buildings had single aspect flats - the new scheme will provide much brighter and airier accommodation.

The scheme is by Howley Harrington (not sure which half is now doing the scheme as Howley and Harrington have gone their separate ways) and also includes the retention of the park / garden area at the back and the addition of some sheltered housing on the other side. I hope the architect has managed to hold on to the good ideas in the face of Local Authority bureaucracy and miniscule budgets .
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Re: York Street

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:57 pm

Thanks hell- I didn't know it was them. HH have a pretty good track record with this kind of thing afaik.

I hadn't heard they'd gone their separate ways. Do you know when and why?
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Re: York Street

Postby PVC King » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:09 pm

Good to hear HH are the architects;

I wonder will the sheletered housing be anything like this:

http://www.hharchitects.net/Project%20pages/Social/City%20Centre(Sandwith)/SandwithPage.html
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Re: York Street

Postby SeamusOG » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:40 am

Today's Irish Times wrote:York Street social housing the smartest in town

Royal College of Surgeons students newly arrived from abroad and looking for digs may be casting admiring glances across the road from the college at the new block of apartments nearing completion on York Street.

It looks as though it might have been designed for the college as suitable accommodation for would-be docs, but in fact the spanking new block is social housing, designed to replace a block of flats demolished by the council some years ago to a certain amount of hue and cry, because the flats looked like quaint Victorian tenements but had in fact been built in the 1950s. The block, designed by Seán Harrington Architects, will house 66 families, most of whom lived in the old flats. They will move in this autumn. Meanwhile the council is so pleased with the design that it plans to open two show units in the development – to show others how it should be done. Watch this space for opening times.

Meanwhile college of surgeons students will have to look elsewhere. Mind you, they are firm favourites around the corner in the Adelaide Square apartment complex, carved out of the old Adelaide Hospital, which has more medical tenants per floor than any other scheme in town.

© 2008 The Irish Times


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/property/2008/0828/1219680141542.html
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Re: York Street

Postby gunter » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:34 pm

That was a very interesting little thread.

With the loss of York Street, 'Georgian' Corporation flats must now be almost extinct in Dublin. I vaguely remember the great, but fearsome, terrace on Summerhill and there were more on Sean MacDermott Street too, I think.

The last two Corpo Georgians, that I know of, are on Gardiner Place on either side of an archway leading to the back of Temple Street Hospital. At this juncture, it might be useful to note that one of the better attended museums in Glasgow is 'The Tenement House', an ordinary terraced building (a couple of street beyond the College of Art), which preserves a record of tenement life in the city, complete with dodgy wallpaper and mind-boggling occupation statistics.

Just a thought.
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Re: York Street

Postby johnglas » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:28 pm

gunter,
A few pics of the Tenement House (or 'hoose' as we say here); NB 'house' not 'flat'. Very typical of the later type of tenement built c. 1900 up until 1914 (i.e. WW I), in red sansdstone (considered superior to yellow). Very compact housing, generally 6 to 8 to a 'close' and almost all rented and 'factored' (managed by a property agent). My memory is of this is of a 'room and kitchen' (a bedroom and a living room), although tenement houses can be much grander. This is really the Continental model of housing.
Before we get all dewy-eyed, much tenement housing was very much worse than this and has vanished. Good tenements are still popular in the city.
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Re: York Street

Postby asmodeus » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:45 pm

I'm not sure you're compating like with like. In Glasgow the so called tenements were built purposefully to accomodate large numbers of people in apartments, A far cry from sub divided georgian mansions like Henrietta street. What is remarkable about the tenements constructed in Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland is that they were often built to cater for middle-class families who in Ireland and England would live in suburban semis. The tenement house which Johnglas posted is an example of a middle class flat.

Aparently in Glasgow there's less than two hundred detached houses - remarkable! But before you get too excited about high density middle class dwelling I thought I'd stick this up!
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Re: York Street

Postby johnglas » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:05 pm

asmodeus: just a few points.
1. Yes, there were (and are) many middle-class tenements, but there are many working-class tenements left. Most were, as you say, purpose-built, although there were some instances historically of large, middle-class houses sub-divided as tenements, as in Dublin (e.g. grand late-Georgian, early-Victorian houses in South Portland St in the Gorbals, alas long gone).
2. The Tenement Flat (sic) is more accurately intended for the 'skilled working-class', and I think it's a two-room and kitchen flat, so a cut above the basic (but it still has a built-in 'box bed' (for the skivvy?) in the 3rd pic).
3. Your figure of 'two hundred' detached houses is spurious; there were and are many historic detached houses in the city. In some relatively small areas there is a range of house types from basic to better-class tenement, to terraces and semi-ds, to detached villas (some of which are very grand indeed). This would reflect economic status (and doesn't it always!).
4. The word 'tenement' originally referred to a parcel of land 'held' by someone (i.e. 'a holding'), and later this was applied, without any pejorative meaning, to the building on the land (from the Latin 'tenementum'). Here, in popular parlance, you lived in a 'close' or a 'building' (never a tenement) and any blocks of flats built after c. 1914 (usually by the Corporation) were never referred to as tenements (although that is technically what they were).
5. Your third pic actually shows Glasgow Sheriff Court ('the busiest court in Europe'), equivalent to your District Court, so nobody lives in it (not literally anyway).
I can get some pics to illustrate this, but I've rambled on enough. Any pics of the York St development?
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Re: York Street

Postby asmodeus » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:03 pm

The figure of detatched houses I gave was related to the ones which still exist as houses - and of course I'm refering to the Glasgow city council area - no Bearsden or Milngavie!

AFAIK the inset beds were generally for children (skivvies did not live onsite) except for the one in kitchen which being the warmest was reserved for the elderly and infirm. They were illegal from 1890 (health issues). It would be interesting to see if they were common in Dublin, they wre very common in country houses

I know the gorbals scene I photographed included the courts, but the combination of that and the tower blocks in the background was one of the most arrestingly hideous scenes I've seen in Glasgow - and there's a few!
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Re: York Street

Postby johnglas » Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:03 pm

Don't want to hog this with Glesga stuff, but I'm sure there are 200 detached houses in Partick-/Dowanhill and Kelvindale alone (more or less).
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Re: York Street

Postby asmodeus » Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:13 pm

johnglas wrote:Don't want to hog this with Glesga stuff, but I'm sure there are 200 detached houses in Partick-/Dowanhill and Kelvindale alone (more or less).


Don't like to go on and on either, but are you sure you're from Glasgow?!!! I've lived in Clouston St and Muirpark st and know that area really quite well. There are no houses! Even the ones on Kirklee are all flat conversions. Don't believe me - get on to s1homes and do a search for a detached house in Glasgow - you'll find yourself in East Renfrewshire. You want to see a detached house in a Scottish city - get the train to Aberdeen!
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Re: York Street

Postby gunter » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:29 pm

Regarding johnglas's pedigree
asmodeus wrote: but are you sure you're from Glasgow?!!!


I think if you come from, say, Termonfeckin and you're a bit ashamed of your humble origins and you decide to pick somewhere exotic to say you came from, I don't think you'd pick Glasgow!

That wasn't intended to be an insult to Termonfeckin, it refers to any one horse town.

Coming back to York Street, I haven't seen the new scheme in any detail, so we'll leave that alone, for the moment, but on the demolished neo-Georgians, there's a couple of things I'd like to say.

It's always easy to scoff at pastiche and 'Georgian' doorcases in cast concrete must have made easy targets for the ridicule that I'm sure was poured on them when the redevelopment options were being considered, but I can't help but have regard for the architects and the Corporation housing officials who fashioned places like York Street flats at a time when their counterparts in Britain were churning out post-war council blocks on a conveyor belt.

Not to go down that route must have taken some bravery and, more importantly, a deliberate decision to repair, rather than replace, a characteristic Dublin streetscape.

If we factor in the shortage of resources available to the city and the scale of the housing problem, that they attempted, at all, to address urban heritage issues is remarkable.

But then, they were only 'mock-Georgians' so lets knock them down!
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Re: York Street

Postby asmodeus » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:59 pm

I'd certainly agree that the mock georgians were a brave decision on the part of the corportation. It seems a shame that they were much easier for people to stomach knocking down compared to the drab flats in Ringsend which currently close off the vista in Grand Canal docks.

Re: Johnglas' pedigree - were I from Airdrie or somplace like that I'd claim to be an exotic Glaswegian or perhaps he's a defender of brutalist modernism and has made "the dear green place" his spiritual home!
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Re: York Street

Postby johnglas » Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:17 pm

asmodeus: don't tempt me - I'm Glasgow bred if not born and as for my being a defender of 'brutalist modernism', just read my rants. Can I just say that you've defeated your own arguments on the detached-house front; there are many [I]purposely-built [/I]detached houses in the city (though not perhaps as many as you would think) which are now flatted. But they are - and read as - detached houses in the townscape. Cities are all about higher density and smaller plots; detached houses in the city are for the fabulously wealthy, the small townee or the incurable suburbanite.
gunter: interesting point; a friend of mine fell in love with the York St houses when visiting Dublin, although I thought they were a bit dull (but 'pastiche' has never fazed me). But they were very appropriate in scale and character for that location (before they were muscled out by the aggrandizing tendencies of the RCSI). Your usual skills at a 'before and after' would be much appreciated.
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Re: York Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:29 am

14/9/2008

Well here is the new Dublin City Council York Street housing scheme designed by Sean Harrington Architects as now reaching completion, comprising 66 apartments surrounding a central courtyard.

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Still a few pointers for the snag list...

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Perhaps a little busy to the western elevation facing towards Upper Mercer Street, the above York Street frontage is more pleasing in its simplicity and dynamic use of materials.

The use of stack-bonded brickwork encased within a galvanised border is eye-catching and 'efficient'.

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If perhaps overly so in its shouting from the rooftops 'SOCIAL HOUSING'. Whereas in the early-mid 20th century public housing was defined almost singularly by being of a modern idiom and apartment format, today the four pre-requisite elements are: a) the use of galvanised steel as a cutting-edge-modern-but-between-ourselves-cheap-and-maintainable material, b) mean fenestration, c) a patronisingly quirky use of bright colour, and d) an appearance of over-design. Essentially four elements one would rarely if ever encounter in the private sector.

None of which might I remark are negatives - they're simply observations from the trends I've noted. When they are to be criticised is their employment in an inappropriate manner, nothing of which it has to be said is evident in this scheme, save perhaps a somewhat overly engineered western elevation.

This development is probably the most environmentally sustainable social housing scheme ever built in Dublin, and clearly informs the design through the use of minimal glazing to the narrow north-facing York Street and contrasting expansive frontage facing south. The powder-coated aluminium windows with internal timber facings are extremely well built and insulated (the specification of the glazing is unclear).

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The use of colour to the side lights of the projecting cube windows injects much vigour to the perennially gloomy York Street.

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Re: York Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:40 am

The glazed cube is a theme carried throughout the scheme.

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The railed frontage to York Street carries through the concept from precedent, and is well detailed.

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The new address plaques being erected on the piers are particularly elegant and subtly back-lit. The ground floor elevation behind the railings however is not as successful: overly harsh and clinical, it has a budget render appearance and poorly detailed window sills that do not do justice to the upper floors. Also picking up on detail, my pet hate of ignorant fenestration is by no means limited to pre-1900 - this is simply ugly stuff up here.

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Depending so heavily on framed glazing and opting for a factory engineered solution inevitably produces such results. The new St. Luke's Avenue building by Anthiny Reddy Associates is another recent high-profile building so compromised by cumbersome fenestration that has had little or no design input saving the choice of material and its colour. A real shame in this case too.

The as yet unfinished basement well, most of which is deeper than this and provides ventilation to basement storage and/or car parking. Lovely curved detail.

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The rear courtyard makes elegant and fitting use of brick which draws strong references to the history of the site and generates a suitably welcoming domestic atmosphere. The elevation to Upper Mercer Street features very well designed animating commercial/retail units, as does the main corner frontage.

The scheme will make use of five gas-powered district heating systems, each serving approximately 13 apartments with a central condensing gas boiler. Domestic hot water will be provided by five solar thermal panels with back up from highly efficient gas boilers at peak load. Because of the volume of gas to be consumed, it can be purchased at commercial rates, further lowering costs, while the efficiency of the scheme as a whole means each unit will consume half that of a typical apartment. A water management system has also been incorporated.


Overall an average/good scheme - if it has an attractive face it has to be to York Street - and seemingly more informed by environmental credentials than architectural swagger. O'Donnell & Twomey's new Cork Street social housing is a heart-warming delight by comparison. This leaves me a little cold.

(Incidentally an excellent series of giant paper maps were recently erected between the bays of the ground floor showing the progression of development on the site from the earliest of times to the present day. It was a great idea, and a shame it came down so quickly. We need more of this type of thing from the public sector)


Next door the site DCC sold to the Royal College of Surgeons is under extreme excavation. If I recall they applied for a four storey basement, and is surely one of the deepest excavations ever conducted in Dublin. It's an incredible drop on location.

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Difficult to make out if this is Calp bedrock or in fact a former quarry site.

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Re: York Street

Postby fergalr » Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:17 am

It looks terrible. Terrible! Cheap cheap cheap.
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Re: York Street

Postby missarchi » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:03 am

mabye metro north might take a cue...
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Re: York Street

Postby johnglas » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:06 pm

It's not as bad as that, fergair, although I don't know what you do about the defective cladding on the gable - future problems?
Are the bottom layers of strata on the last pics the famed Dublin calp (limestone)? It's fearsome looking stuff.
PS Great stuff, GrahamH, good forensic pics and a consistent critique of the development; need more of that.
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Re: York Street

Postby reddy » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:22 pm

Its certainly not as bad as that. Thanks a million for the pics/ critique GrahamH.

Since those pictures were taken the scheme has steadily advanced in its finishing. Its actually great. It reinstates the enclosure of York st, makes a quality residential courtyard, the corner element is sophisticated and elegant, making a lovely transition which is infinitely better than the vast majority of private blocks attempting the same.

From an urban point of view, it ticks all the boxes, active corner use, mix of typologies and tenure, On street access to stair cores etc.

The detailing is well thought out and fairly well executed overall, the apartments are spacious, flexible and energy efficient. Its by far the most sustainable and efficient block in the city at the moment.

Overall I really cant compliment this enough. Of course elements in it are cheap - its social housing - budget is a serious concern but the overall quality of the development shines through. Go down and have a look at it in the flesh and I really think you'll be pleasantly suprised.

O this case study makes very interesting reading about the evolution of the scheme.
http://www.chr.ie/training_and_education/energy_efficiency_for_sustainable_communities_2008.530.html
(About half way down)
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Re: York Street

Postby jdivision » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:34 pm

I think it's dreadful and have thought so since the "brickwork" was unveiled. The projecting windows look ridiculous, the whole scheme screams of a lack of imagination. To be honest Graham, I expected a damning critique so am a bit surprised by most of your comments. As for the snag on the side elevation, I hope it's not an intentional feature, much like MOL's (?) one at Broadstone.
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Re: York Street

Postby gunter » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:13 am

jdivision wrote:I think it's dreadful and have thought so since the "brickwork" was unveiled.


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I've never been a fan of tiled-on brickwork, but at least here it's just used as a framed panel and the colour is perfect, if the intention was to reference Dublin brickwork from the early Georgian period, i.e. when York Street was originally developed.

I also like the composition of the York Street elevation which does a nice job in varying the module width (not dissimilar to original plot widths) and it has a base and, best of all, a top. Even on narrow streets, roof-scapes can be important and this one (York Street frontage) has an elegant roof-scape.

It all breaks down a bit on the Mercer Street frontage, but eventually an opposing streetscape here may reduce the impact of the clutter on the roof here and the dodgy composition.
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