Whatever about the merits of the design, I can't see why Michael Smith has to have a poke at U2. His remark, highlighted below, sums up his arrogance to me. Is he saying that musicians are good at nothing else bar making music? And that only he and like-minded individuals are qualified to comment on anything relating to architecture? Was just a very cheap shot in my view.
U2 €65m Clarence plan ‘execrable’
By Paul Kelly Irish Examiner
HERITAGE experts have dubbed €65 million plans by rock band U2 to revamp one of Dublin’s most exclusive hotels as “execrable”.
Michael Smith, the former chairman of heritage body An Taisce, wants Dublin City Council to turn down U2’s plans for the boutique Clarence Hotel in the city.
According to architects’ magazine Building Design, Mr Smith is unhappy about the plans as they include the a creation of a futuristic “sky catcher” designed to draw light into the base of the hotel, and the demolition of nearby Georgian buildings in the Liffey Quays area.
“These buildings are among the most distinguished quay-front buildings in the city; in an era of aspirant sustainability, their proposed destruction, particularly at the hands of rock musicians and their friends, is execrable.
“The days of grateful fawnings over international — or in this case intergalactic — architecture on Dublin’s landmark sites should be over,” he said in the letter to the council.
Renowned British architect Norman Foster revealed proposals at the beginning of the year to create a “new landmark” for Dublin by redeveloping and extending the hotel, which is owned by Bono and the Edge.
Launching it in January, Foster said the project had a “sympathetic civic presence”.
But Mr Smith said: “Foster & Partners’ website asserts they ‘design by challenging — by asking the right questions’.
“In this case, the first question they should have asked was how to integrate rather than destroy the existing buildings.”
An Taisce, as well as the Irish Georgian Society, have formally objected to the U2 development, arguing it would be better placed in the docklands.
An Taisce planning officer Kevin Duff has called on the council to implement a development framework for the Liffey Quays area in the wake of other schemes there.
The U2 project is now on hold until the applicant answers a list of questions, the city council said, but hotel bosses insisted the queries were routine.