Shopfront race to the bottom

Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby jdivision » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:14 am

GrahamH/Devin, have you seen the remodelled EBS branch on Baggot Street, opposite Toner's. Some of what's exposed is worthwhile but I think some of the touches are ill advised, particular the signage (if that's the permanent choice, it was put up after the pic was taken). All said, it's a hell of a lot better than the red and white tack that was there before
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby lunasa » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:32 pm

That's the original (sic.) front of what used to be a pork butcher's next door to what was a branch of The Monument Creamery. All those Baggot Street memories. We walked from Upper Mount Street to The Green most afternoons to fish for pinkeens (but we also got money for the jam jars from the ragman in Herbert Lane to buy sweets in Moyter's so they weren't all used for the little fishies). Tesco (let me puke) is where H. William's was, the first 'supermarket' in Dublin, and further up in Merrion Row was The Venetian Café. That was only very sometimes but the mammy always lifted us up to see through the railings of the Huguenot Cemetery, which she called Limbo, where we were going to go when we died because the neighbour children always taunted us for not being baptised.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby gunter » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:03 pm

The poor old Huguenots, I bet they had no idea they were going to end up in Limbo!

Marcel, sis eez not ev-en
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby GrahamH » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:24 pm

Devin wrote:Image

Ok perhaps there is an argument that he/she who did it was maverick and should have kept the yellow brick of the others. But I don't think it has compromised the terrace. It more highlights that the other brick facades need some tlc.


I could not disagree more! What has happened in respect of the red wash is ridiculous, and typical of the slapdash approach taken to brick conservation in Dublin, where any work is deemed acceptable as long as it is undertaken by a professional using an historic technique. For some reason, the standards we apply to plasterwork, joinery, window repair and ironwork – generally repaired according to textbook models, standards and accepted best practice – is rarely applied to brickwork here. It’s as if the repair and conservation of brickwork is deemed to beyond the expertise of the planner or architect, and is regularly left to the whims – however professional the quality of their work may be – of the bricklayer, to whom is often left to advise on the technique and mortars used, in spite of this being critical to the entire project.

There is absolutely no way that any building in a perfectly intact uniform terrace should be dyed an alternate colour to that of adjacent buildings. Not only does this impair the appearance of the entire terrace, it also does an injustice to the intelligence of our forebears to suggest they would be so aesthetically and socially stupid to think nobody would notice a narrow sliver of a property in a uniform terrace built of cheap brick being dyed to appear more regular or expensive. With substantial houses on the squares, yes - on a beanpole of a secondary commercial terrace, most certainly not. I appreciate a photograph shall now miraculously appear from nowhere to dispute this, but that would not be typical!

To apply the above case to elsewhere in the city, we would have smatterings of red-washed houses popping up along the length of Gardiner Street, or half of Heytesbury Street transformed overnight into a tribute to the wine gum. We often give out on this site about modern property owners compromising unified compositions through render application, paint colours and window replacement. This is the conservation version of this, and very simply should not have been permitted by planners. The correct course of action was to execute the same high quality job using a yellow mortar (and arguably wigged).

Regarding the windows, from what I’ve made out from passing, the various groupings of reproduction sashes differ slightly from each other, some quite drastically. Coupled with the mismatched brickwork, there’s a lot of clutter up there.

Just for the record, I think the red-washed building is an outstanding job, including the pointing, with the best choice of colour and standard of application I have yet encountered in Dublin. Likewise about the windows. Just a shame it’s the wrong building. Agreed the North Great George’s Street job is excellent. The plum is fruity but it works. The buff tuck is beautiful.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:21 am

Arrgh there really is another thread in this! I would barely consider the Capel Street building to be "redbrick" (now) - that's why I gave the George's St. example. The Capel St. one is not strong enough to contrast adversely with the others IMO. And yes you defo do see different colour brick facades in important streetscapes around the city. The north side of Merrion Square is a right mish mash.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:26 am

gunter wrote:whoever did the restoration of that building (two - three years ago) deserved a medal, imo.


restoration gunter? surely a word that does not apply in this instance, a simple dislike of yellow brick cannot justify such a significant alteration, particularly in the context of a reasonably coherent terrace :eek:


GrahamH wrote:There is absolutely no way that any building in a perfectly intact uniform terrace should be dyed an alternate colour to that of adjacent buildings. Not only does this impair the appearance of the entire terrace, it also does an injustice to the intelligence of our forebears to suggest they would be so aesthetically and socially stupid to think nobody would notice a narrow sliver of a property in a uniform terrace built of cheap brick being dyed to appear more regular or expensive. With substantial houses on the squares, yes - on a beanpole of a secondary commercial terrace, most certainly not. I appreciate a photograph shall now miraculously appear from nowhere to dispute this, but that would not be typical!

To apply the above case to elsewhere in the city, we would have smatterings of red-washed houses popping up along the length of Gardiner Street, or half of Heytesbury Street transformed overnight into a tribute to the wine gum. We often give out on this site about modern property owners compromising unified compositions through render application, paint colours and window replacement. This is the conservation version of this, and very simply should not have been permitted by planners. The correct course of action was to execute the same high quality job using a yellow mortar (and arguably wigged).


+1 !!!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:26 pm

Peter Fitz wrote:restoration gunter? surely a word that does not apply in this instance, a simple dislike of yellow brick cannot justify such a significant alteration, particularly in the context of a reasonably coherent terrace :eek:


Restoration: ''Representation of original form, or appearance''

Peter, I think this term is perfectly applicable in this case. As far as I know, it was standard practice in the 19th century for facades constructed in yellow stock brick to be pointed up in red dyed mortar, presumably in a very reasonable attempt to match the appearance of the predominant brick finish in the adjoining streetscape.

Without having examined the Capel Street building in detail, and leaving aside my own entirely justified dislike of inferior, second rate, buff coloured brickwork, I took it that the architect in this instance had done his research, found that this was indeed the case, and courageously specified and oversaw a magnificent piece of conservation/restoration.

I know this sounds a bit like 'everyone's out of step but my Johnny', but I thinks that this is actually the case here. To properly restore the unity of the terrace, it's the other buildings that need to get their act together, this guy has shown the way.

This is the only example of original red mortar in use on yellow stock brick that I have to hand, and it comes from a bit later in the 19th century, but I'll keep an eye open for better examples if we're heading into a full blown disagreement on this.

Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby KerryBog2 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:03 pm

gunter wrote:The poor old Huguenots, I bet they had no idea they were going to end up in Limbo!

Marcel, sis eez not ev-en


Alas, poor old Limbo! Either it never existed, or is empty, but certainly is no more. Pulled down by the last Pope; probably not compliant with the original PP.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:02 pm

Ok before we start going on expeditions for photos in support of points, this thread needs to stay OT.


[align=center]-o-o-[/align]


Image

In 2006, Gorta put up what can only be described as an obnoxious shop fascia on their Capel Street building.




Image

It forms the south piece of a rather sophisticated group of unified buildings at Nos. 133-137, all protected structures.

A complaint was duly lodged (yeah yeah, death to the poor). Incredibly, the reply from DCC Planning Enforcement was that "no enforcement action is warranted in relation to this sign as it is similar to others on this street". I would love to scan and put the reply letter up here to illustrate it in black & white, but planning enforcement documentation is not public unlike planning apps.

And now, in their report to accompany the recent ACA proposal for the street, DCC cite Gorta as a bad example of a Capel Street shopfront! See thumbnail.


Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby publicrealm » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:53 pm

[quote="Devin"]Ok before we start going on expeditions for photos in support of points, this thread needs to stay OT.


[The Thread Ariadne, the Thread!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Peter Fitz » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:43 am

gunter wrote:Restoration: ''Representation of original form, or appearance''

Peter, I think this term is perfectly applicable in this case. As far as I know, it was standard practice in the 19th century for facades constructed in yellow stock brick to be pointed up in red dyed mortar, presumably in a very reasonable attempt to match the appearance of the predominant brick finish in the adjoining streetscape.


If that could be verified in this particular case, well fair enough - it’s not at all clear however & whether or not the use of red-dyed mortar on yellow stock facades throughout the city could be described as 'standard practice' is also a little dubious.

Either way I would have preferred a more pragmatic approach, had no. 80 been first up for restoration & presuming red-dyed mortar was in fact originally used, by all means use the opportunity to set the tone for the terrace as a whole. However, given the previous restoration of no's 82 - 84, almost half the terrace, to the original yellow stock brick, the approach taken at no. 80 is a little pedantic and compromises the coherence of the terrace as a whole*.

*not to say that no. 80 is anything other than a fine job, I wouldn't be bothered arguing the point if it was a stand alone ;)
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby KeepAnEyeOnBob » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:01 pm

Well, from the layman's perspective, I would say no. 80 "looks" best (if you look at each section individually), but it also of course disrupts the block and looks out of place when you look at the whole row. It all looks superb compared to the late 90s photo, all the bigger difference with the changed streetscape and cleaned up building opposite (albeit with horrible new signage).
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:27 pm

Everybody can see that Westmoreland Street is deteriorating out of control. Things that had been ok have to deteriorate just to keep up:




Image

Coleman's newsagent had been maintaining a respectable Victorian-style frontage ........... until recently.




Image

The previous signage to the Thai restaurant at the corner with Fleet Street had been working with the historic building.




Image

The new signage is working against it.




Image

One of the last inoffensive uses on the street, a chemist, recently shut up.




Image

And of course thee worst shopfront in Dublin is on Westmoreland Street.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby alonso » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:01 pm

cool. A subway on westmoreland street!

Finally some good news on archiseek.

anyway their posters are way over the top but to be honest I don't think Thai Orchid were doing the street any favoiurs originally, as you implied. maybe it's best to just abandon this street for the next decade while Metro North and maybe BX are under construction and we can return to it after. You could always "encourage" a few RPA contractors to "look after" any offensive signage with their JCBs...
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby gunter » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:18 pm

Devin wrote:. . . . and of course thee worst shopfront in Dublin is on Westmoreland Street.


I don't know about 'the worst shopfront in Dublin', look at what they did around the corner in College Green:

Image

Image

It looks like Daly's Club House have sub-let part of their ground floor to an Indian take-away and they've plastered signage all over the stonework of the classical facade!

Where are the Wide Streets Commissioners?

I'm tempted to write a stiffly worded letter to Faulkner's Gazette :)
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby hutton » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:29 pm

Devin wrote:Everybody can see that Westmoreland Street is deteriorating out of control. Things that had been ok have to deteriorate just to keep up.


Ah but did you not know that Gormley's Bus Gate is going to fix all that, just as in Marlborough Street and Parnell Square West... Because Gormley/ DoE and DCC have really made a priority of completing the O'C St IAP, clearing up the clutter that blights College Green and Westmorland Street, and enforcing proper planning... Except they have like shite and have no such commitments in their Bus Gate plan, which imo threatens to further damage WM St by turning it into a Bus Gutter...

gunter wrote:I don't know about 'the worst shopfront in Dublin', look at what they did around the corner in College Green:
It looks like Daly's Club House have sub-let part of their ground floor to an Indian take-away and they've plastered signage all over the stonework of the classical facade!

Where are the Wide Streets Commissioners?

I'm tempted to write a stiffly worded letter to Faulkner's Gazette :)


Gunter - Luke Gardiner is watching you :p
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby alonso » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:03 pm

why in the name of jaysus would a bus gate plan, which is not much more than a collection of A0 drawings of a few junctions, contain any of that stuff? That's what Development plans are for, and enforcement and local democracy and y'know all those fluffy nebulous things that we don't have.

To be fair though, the Bus Gate issue is a seperate one and one i support. I have no idea how removing the cars would make it worse? Less vehicles = more room surely? Can you elaborate (possibly on the Westmoreland st thread) as I'm interested as to how removing cars can make it worse. cool
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:50 pm

Yeah hutton, that just sounds like aimless mouthing off on the internet. What does John Gormley have to do with planning controls for Westmoreland Street? Nothing. Anyway you probably read that these controls controlling shop uses & design for the O'C Street area are to be reviewed because of the persistent problems.

http://www.tribune.ie/property/article/2009/feb/08/oconnell-street-planning-controls-face-review/
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby johnglas » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:52 pm

That Spar is shocking, but I'm intrigued by the Lion Rampant above and the cluster of thistles surrounding it. Any knowledge of the Scottish connection?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:11 pm

Quite possible in this area. You'd have to go back through the Shaw's Directories.



gunter wrote:Image

It looks like Daly's Club House have sub-let part of their ground floor to an Indian take-away and they've plastered signage all over the stonework of the classical facade!

Where are the Wide Streets Commissioners?

I'm tempted to write a stiffly worded letter to Faulkner's Gazette :)
Extraordinary! If only Linda Cheung had been able to cite this precedent, she might have got permission last year for a Chinese restaurant a few doors away No. 9 College Green - 3152/08 :-)
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Morlan » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:19 am

Devin wrote:Image

And of course thee worst shopfront in Dublin is on Westmoreland Street.


I know I shouldn't be surprised but.. holy fucking shit :eek:
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby KerryBog2 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:47 am

johnglas wrote:That Spar is shocking, but I'm intrigued by the Lion Rampant above and the cluster of thistles surrounding it. Any knowledge of the Scottish connection?


It is similar to the royal arms of Scotland - "Or, a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure" The thistles relate to the Order of the Thistle.
They relate to a previous occupant, a Scottish insurance company; an old street directory should confirm this. It would be interesting to know if the insurer had its own grant of arms or if the painters got the present colours incorrect.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby GrahamH » Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:13 am

More dodgy dealings over on Dawson Street. While Dubliners are welcoming with open arms yet another British multiple on the streets of the capital (though at least they produce decent coffee), the mega chain sees fit to flout planning regulations and essentially give the two fingers to the most prestigious network of streets in the city with this tawdry ensemble.

Image

Appalling signage in the windows and an outrageously scaled sign on the wall, which should not be permitted on any level.

A dash of suburban decking and cluttering advertising banners. You couldn't make this stuff up.

Image


What the heck?!

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A host of apparently unauthorised seating on Molesworth Street, the orderly appearance and maintenance of which is entirely at the discretion of staff.

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Aside from the conversion to restaurant use, none of this development has planning permission. Indeed the application for change of use was even conditional on:

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Planning & Development Regulations 2001, no advertisement signs (including any signs installed to be visible through the windows); advertisement structures, banners, canopies, flags, or other projecting element shall be displayed or erected on the building or within the curtilage, or attached to the glazing without the prior grant of planning permission. Reason: In the interests of visual amenity.

Yah...

An application was lodged barely a week ago for some of these and other works. Given Starbucks were handed everything on a plate across the road, goodness only knows what will be permitted here.

Image

As any planner should know, the majority of international retailers have a 'standard' model for shop branding and a 'conservation' model which they keep quiet on unless forced to employ it. If any planning authority was hardline enough to enforce this across the board, retailers wouldn't even bother trying for anything else.

How about DCC starts saving the city from mediocre retail design?

Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby missarchi » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:30 am

the green dragon what on earth is the story with that? :D
mirror mirror on the wall...
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:20 am

Being perfectly honest here, that Costa signage actually improves the building. And Costa coffee is revolting.
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