Heuston framework plan

Heuston framework plan

Postby missarchi » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:37 pm

don't think it is finalised yet:eek: but here is my 10 minute job...
for some bits its to late others its not...
red = georgian
the other colors you can guess

make what????
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:09 pm

That's not as daft as it looks.

O.k. it is as daft as it looks.

However, you have a valid point in there somewhere that 'Heuston Gate', 'Clancy Quay' and the rest of Kilmainham are disconnected urban entities, and are being developed in isolation from each other.

These areas are being marketed as new urban quarters, but there is no discernable vision for how they could connect with each other and maybe even complement each other.

missarchi, in what way is 'red' Georgian? Do you mean Georgian in the sense of East European?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:21 pm

The 'Heuston South Quarter' is starting to take a bit of shape. The Eircom HQ building, on the corner of St. John's Road and Military Road, was part of the first planning permission and is nearly complete.

I have lost track of the rest of the development because there have been so many subsequent planning applications, but some of the apartment blocks, which were originally standard repetitive dross, have been redesigned and look like they could be getting interesting.

Image

This colour scheme, is this Rietvelt?, who's up on the heros of the modern movement?

Image

Worth noting that the existing mature trees have been retained all along the street frontage (suggestion here for Lansdown Road!).
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:45 am

gunter wrote:However, you have a valid point in there somewhere that 'Heuston Gate', 'Clancy Quay' and the rest of Kilmainham are disconnected urban entities, and are being developed in isolation from each other.

These areas are being marketed as new urban quarters, but there is no discernable vision for how they could connect with each other and maybe even complement each other.


"We fetishise the urban experience, but without rigour. Or real comprehension."

OR:

Image

Aah Clancy Quay...

PS This is the answer to an old 'How well do you know Dublin?' frivolous teaser, btw.

(I'll get my coat.)
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:49 am

gunter wrote:This colour scheme, is this Rietvelt?, who's up on the heros of the modern movement?


Possible Rietveld, possibly Mondrian, possibly Tati?

Image

(Couldn't find my coat.)
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:52 pm

Image

The 'Brunel'! block at Heuston South Quarter.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel?

Because it's near a railway line? That's pretty tenuous. I'm sorry, but this is the 'Dubai' block.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby missarchi » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:36 pm

yeap sad what could of been...

Mondrian, possibly Tati?:cool:
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:16 am

I nearly missed this one. There are so many thousand word essay site notices up on this hoarding you don't notice them any more.

I don't know what the rest of you think, but this to me is a new low.

Over the last five years each block in the Heuston South Quarter (HSQ) has gone back in for revised planning with the result that the scheme, as reluctantly granted planning permission by Bord Pleanala, must now have nearly doubled in floor area.

They're calling this 'Modifications to blocks 5B & 6', when it's patently a completely different, gargantuan 13 storey, scheme on the site of previously permitted blocks 5B & 6. Personally, I detested blocks 5A & 5B for their insipid relationship with the formal gardens at the RHK, but dumping a shapeless brown turd on the site is completely unacceptable.

I think the facade panels are supposed to be bronze, but it looks like a two tone mess. In any case we already have a bronze clad mega-block, it's called 'Park House' on the North Circular Road, and it was built, what, 30 years ago?

Image

Sorry about the spiral bind down the middle of the render, but that's the way it's presented. For orientation, the view is looking north with the tracks at Heuston station at the top of the picture, the Dubai block on the right and the formal gardens at the Royal Hospital on the left.

Image

The turd would dominate this view from the RHK, where it would be in front of the Dubai block, to the left of the Deputy Governor's house.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:26 am

My first thought:

Image
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:04 am

I forget the story, did God smote the tower of Babel, or just turn all the builders into Poles and Latvians?

God, in this case, is going to have to be Emma Deane, planning officer, (Reg. no. 2821/08, lodged 14 May) and I will be looking for a good smoting.

Image

This is a shot of the model above and a recent view of the site, from down in the formal garden, below.

Image
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby dave123 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:00 pm

gunter wrote:Image

The 'Brunel'! block at Heuston South Quarter.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel?

Because it's near a railway line? That's pretty tenuous. I'm sorry, but this is the 'Dubai' block.


Nice building, but you right you could swear it was copied from a Dubai building. The obviousness is laughable. Irish architects just cannot seem to be more inspiring or inventive when it come's coming up with their own tall buildings.

There are just as freighened as the rest of the population of this country.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby paul h » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:45 pm

warning --- a well worn out drum is about to be banged..


Maybe this gargantuan block of a building (bronze behemoth pictured above) is a result of the mass hysteria involving tall buildings and the inevitable refusals?
Its just a thought.

and a couple of taller slender tower type buildings , in this situation, in this area which has been pegged for higher densities, would perhaps have less impact??
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:27 pm

Or they put the bronze behemoth in the model so someone would say: this is so awful! we need a couple of tall slender structures! A case of 'I know that you know that I know...'
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:52 am

paul h wrote:
Maybe this gargantuan block of a building (bronze behemoth pictured above) is a result of the mass hysteria involving tall buildings and the inevitable refusals?
Its just a thought.

and a couple of taller slender tower type buildings , in this situation, in this area which has been pegged for higher densities, would perhaps have less impact??


That's the rational for the 32 storey Heuston Gate tower, which, unfortunately, seems to have vanished into the twilight zone. I'd be inclined to agree with you that a cluster of slender towers, in the right context, would be better than this. I'm not sure though, if we could use the term 'less impact'. It was clear from day one that there was no way this development, in it's relationship to the Royal Hospital, was ever going to be low impact.

Image

To get planning permission in the first place, they proposed a relatively low, staggered, semi-transparent pair of blocks (6A & 6B) as the interface between this proposed new 'urban quarter' and the formal gardens below the primary north evevation of the Royal Hospital. The 'Heuston Framework Plan', which paved the way for this development, set out some guidelines which seemed reasonable at the time, but now look quite foolish. One specific guideline was that the development of the Eircom site (as it then was) should not encroach on a minor vista from the corner of the Royal Hospital building to the tiny cupola on the Royal Infirmary in the Phoenix Park, more than half a mile away, (you can hardly see it, to the left of the cranes, in this photograph). That's the reason for the staggered set-back of blocks 6A and 6B as originally proposed and it ruined the possibility of creating a strong urban edge to the formal gardens, which, in my opinion, the formal gardens could easily have handled. A stronger edge here would have 'contained' the development beyond, and reduced the type of jarring impact that the likes of the bronze block are likely to create.

Although I didn't agree with the original relationship, the current proposal bizarrely replaces only one half of the original interface with the gardens by sticking in this 4 - 13 storey bronze block in the place of block 6B (and block 5), while leaving it's twin, block 6A alone! Again the western elevation of the bronze block is splayed to preserve the sight line to the Infirmary, at the expense of an orthogonal relationship with the Royal Hospital and the formal gardens.

The planner's report seeking additional information on the original development, 5 or 6 years ago, pointed out that the Royal Hospital was a 'world class 17th century building' and that any development on this site would need to raise it's game to address that standard.

As far as I'm aware, from day one, the whole HSQ development has been designed by the one practice, Anthony Reddy & associates, despite the fact that the various blocks diverge considerably in style and quality. On one level, it may be commendable that there is this variation and vitality rather than a numbing sameness to the development, but on another level, there's no excuse, on a heritage sensitive site like this, for any of the blocks not to be treated with the greatest possible skill and sensitivity.

Reddy has done other good work in the area, their Hilton hotel opposite Kilmainham Gaol, protographed here through the main gate (Richmond Tower) of the Royal Hospital, is a well regarded essay in building sensitively in a historical setting, with, as has been said before, an appropriate touch of civic grandeur. A bit of this forming a defined urban edge to the RHK formal gardens would go a long way towards settling this new 'urban quarter' at HSQ into a respectfull relationship with it's 17th century neighbour.

Image
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:18 am

gunter: take your point entirely about a strong uniform building line defining the relationship between the RHK and any new development; not sure about your confidence in the hotel and its civic presence. The 'mullions' (which is how they read) are too arbitarary and capricious in their placing and I think they mock rather than complement the classical regularity of Kilmainham courthouse opposite. I'm not saying it's a bad building (though hardly very exciting), just not up to the job in situ.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:19 am

:confused:
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:12 pm

Johnglas, I know the 'mullions' are arbitrary, but that's the problem with hotels, all the pigeon holes are the same size, so you end up with either boring repetition, or you go down the 'pattern' route like our chequerboard Portuguese friend in the docks. I think the Kilmainham Hilton, apart from the corner / mesh feature which you see I've carefully kept out of shot, is a decent third way.

The convincing stonework (to the front only), the great broad flight of steps to the podium and the well executed separation of the sandstone block from the granite podium by a recessed fully glazed ground floor, give it the elusive 'Civic' quality, in my opinion.

I was a bit surprised that it didn't make it into either the AAI or the RIAI awards this time. Quite a lot of people around here, who routinely hate all buildings that haven't been around for at least fifty years, quite like this one.
Having said that, most of the rest of the development, particularly the 'pick and mix' blocks facing north towards the Memorial Gardens, are very dissappointing, to be polite about it.

Are they three question marks, or just three hairs, on that button's head?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:41 pm

gunter: Obviously I've not seen them, so I can't say; even the hotel I need to see to be fair, and I might then change my mind. I saw the mesh in a photo in AI (or whatever it's calling itself this week) and liked it no more than you. I'm not totally convinced that a more regular and logical arrangement of wall and window wouldn't have been achievable; but, yes, it is a hotel.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Devin » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:22 pm

gunter wrote:The 'Heuston Framework Plan', which paved the way for this development, set out some guidelines which seemed reasonable at the time, but now look quite foolish. One specific guideline was that the development of the Eircom site (as it then was) should not encroach on a minor vista from the corner of the Royal Hospital building to the tiny cupola on the Royal Infirmary in the Phoenix Park, more than half a mile away
That view is quite important. And it must be seen in context with other historic views. When Heuston Gate was being planned, it was deemed that the views or ‘cone of vision’ from the terrace in front of the Royal Hospital to the Royal Infirmary, the Wellington Monument and the Magazine Fort would be maintained. I can’t agree that development should have lined the edge of the gardens. I’m wary when I see the term “strong urban edge”. I’ve seen it used too many times in planning consultants’ reports to justify overdevelopment.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:24 pm

The development, as now being constructed, is about twice the scale that was originally permitted, which would make it maybe 3, or 4 times the scale of the development envisaged in the original Heuston Framework Plan. That's the context in which I think the guidlines in that plan need to be urgently reviewed before they become cast in concrete.

The tiny cupola on the Royal Infirmary may be a delightful little feature, but I think it's time to question whether it constitutes strong enough a focal point to dictate the building line half a mile away, when there are much more immediate and, in my view, important relationships to be considered.

The cupola would still be visible from the formal terrace, just not from the extreme eastern end of it. The vista to the Wellington monument is direct and safe, though I have a suggestion in this direction that I need to do a bit more work on and I'll post it up in due course. The vista to the Magazine Fort is about to vanish behind the Clany Barracks development.

In general I'm in favour of the whole new urban quarter at HSQ and when it's augmented by the Heuston Gate development (32 storey tower) on the east side of Military Road, and then linked up with the redevelopment of the Guinness lands, it will bring the city centre to the doorstep of Kilmainham for the first time. That's all great, on one level, but there is no excuse that the interface with the Royal Hospital has to be the weakest element of the whole scheme!

I think the developers are taking the easy option here, they're running with the Infirmary vista because it doesn't cost them too much in site area, while at the same time, they've quietly dropped the original low key frontage at blocks 6A & 6B because they know that any slight design contribution that these blocks may have made, in presenting a modestly scaled frontage to the gardens, has been rendered meaningless by the growing scale of the amended development behind.

In my view, this unbuilt end of the HSQ development needs to be radically re-examined and not just in the context of the direct relationship with the formal gardens and the Royal Hospital itself, it needs to be examined in the context of an overall planning vision for Kilmainham and the role that the RHK grounds will have to play if the disconnected urban nodes at HSQ, Clancy Barracks, Islandbridge and what remains of Old Kilmainham itself, are ever to moulded into a coherently planned district, exploiting it's abundant natural and man made attributes and legibly connected to it's long and rich heritage.

It's a bit of an indictment that the last time Kilmainham was a lgible coherent district, it was the 1530s, before Henry VIII desolved the monastries! We've had more than our fair share of major public buildings since then and plenty of major infrastructural projects, but no comprehensive planning, no overall vision. Now would be a good time to put that right.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Devin » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:11 pm

Hmmm, bit late maybe given the development that’s underway?


gunter wrote:The tiny cupola on the Royal Infirmary may be a delightful little feature, but I think it's time to question whether it constitutes strong enough a focal point to dictate the building line half a mile away, when there are much more immediate and, in my view, important relationships to be considered.
Well the view is supposed be of the building, not just its cupola. While the façade is mostly hidden by trees at the moment, that could change. The OPW are quite into restoring vistas at the moment. The axial vista along the NCR to the Wellington Monument has just been restored by significant pruning of the trees lining it. Looks great too. And as you may well know major 18th century vistas are being restored at the moment out in Castletown.


gunter wrote:The vista to the Wellington monument is direct and safe, though I have a suggestion in this direction that I need to do a bit more work on and I'll post it up in due course.
Could your idea be something to do with those ghastly ‘90s apartments (must qualify for some of the worst buildings in Dublin for their ugliness and location) sitting at the bottom of the Wellie Monument in that view? Will await with interest!


gunter wrote: The vista to the Magazine Fort is about to vanish behind the Clany Barracks development.
Last time I was at the Royal Hosp. the height line of Clancy Barracks’ new development was just below the Magazine Fort, and a bit to the right of it.


gunter wrote:I think the developers are taking the easy option here, they're running with the Infirmary vista because it doesn't cost them too much in site area, while at the same time, they've quietly dropped the original low key frontage at blocks 6A & 6B because they know that any slight design contribution that these blocks may have made, in presenting a modestly scaled frontage to the gardens, has been rendered meaningless by the growing scale of the amended development behind.
The northern of these two blocks seems to be still happening - visible in the model of that ridiculous sprawling drunken 13-storey building you featured above.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:03 pm

Devin: You're not meeting me half way on this Heuston thing at all are you?

First off, it may be late in the day to be trying to influence the final shape and form of this development, but nobody else appears to be bothered and the developers see this and keep coming back in with bulked-up re-designs of each block in turn. If someone doesn't make a stand, they're going to run amok on this site. As you know Devin, if someone doesn't shine a light on the planners, they're liable to wave all of this stuff through, to use your phrase.

The last blocks that remain unbuilt (apart from the hotel recently permitted, at twice the scale of the previously permitted office block, at block 2), are blocks 1 and blocks 6A & 6B. These are the buildings with frontage to the RHK gardens. It's just a wild guess, but if they get what they want with the massive bulk up of block 6B, I can't see them not trying their luck with 6A, (and block 1 for that matter).

In their application for the re-design of block 2 (to be a 14 storey, 22,013m.sq hotel in place of the 7 storey, 10,731m.sq. office block) the developers specifically stated that other location within the scheme had been considered and rejected because ' . . a building of this size on these sites was judged to have an impact on the new public square and on the view from the Royal Hospital where buildings 6A and 6B form 'pavilion like' edges to the gardens'!

Now that they've obtained permission for the bulk-up of block 2, their ethical concerns for maintaining the 'pavilion like' edges to the gardens, seems to have vanished into the mist!

And people will tell you that developers (and their architects) are a cynical and unprincipled bunch!

On the vista to the Infirmary, I'm sorry, it just leaves me cold. IMO these kind of guidlines come about when consultants are appointed who have no real feel for the subject site and they start scratching around for things to pad out their reports with, to justify the fees. O.k, this might be a bitter and twisted comment, but it's not wrong.

On the vista to the Wellington monument, I wasn't proposing to buy out all the 1990s apartments on Conyngham Road and demolish the blocks to reinstate the sylvan view across to the Phoenix Park, although obviously I would have the resources to do that any time I liked, you understand. The vista to the Magazine fort is another one of those that challenges gunter's eyesight to the limit. Maybe other people can see this one, but personally I won't be missing it and if it's still there, it's only because the Clancy development hasn't progressed northwards up the site yet.

My central point is that HSQ, Clancy Barracks and the rest of Kilmainham are being developed in an inward looking fashion and in cocooned isolation from each other. This is wrong! It's wrong that St. John's Road West is a dual carriageway instead of a street, when it's located inside the city centre as defined by the Circular Roads. It's wrong that the Royal Hospital grounds are today an unplanned, carved up, carcass of a space that is a barrier to the coherent development of the area as much as it is a recreational asset to dog walkers and concert promoters. Maybe we can fix all of this in fifty or sixty years time, but why can't we fix it now?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Devin » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:34 am

No I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. But it has a lot to do with Dublin’s chronic motor car culture. Until the traffic lessens these areas will never be connected.

Here is an example of unconnectedness:
The planners would talk for years about getting the city’s cultural institutions “linked up”. RHK / IMMA was always a bastard to get to; just that bit far from the centre for a pleasant walk. Since 2004, it has been served by Luas, but you wouldn’t know it …
Provided you know what the stop is, you get off at St. James's Hospital (no announcement for IMMA, and no signpost towards it at the stop). IMMA is a short, pleasant, partially traffic-free walk westwards along James’s Street, down the concrete steps and uphill into the place. But, provided you know which direction to go along James’s Street when you get off Luas, there is NO SIGN at the top of the steps directing you down towards IMMA, and no sign telling you which way to go at the bottom. If you were to just follow the map, you would end up doing a much longer walk back along James’s Street towards town, then down Kilmainham Lane. And the concrete steps are grotty. They should be improved as a civic route. Why can’t we get these basics sorted out?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:02 am

I think the absence of a sign post to the concrete steps (Cromwell's Quarters is the official nane), from the Luas stop at James' Hospital, might have something to do with it's former street name. 'Murdering Lane' ! the continuation of 'Cut Throat Alley', which a lot of people around here think is still the more accurate description.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby hutton » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:20 am

Devin wrote:Here is an example of unconnectedness:
The planners would talk for years about getting the city’s cultural institutions “linked up”. RHK / IMMA was always a bastard to get to; just that bit far from the centre for a pleasant walk. Since 2004, it has been served by Luas, but you wouldn’t know it …
Provided you know what the stop is, you get off at St. James's Hospital (no announcement for IMMA, and no signpost towards it at the stop). IMMA is a short, pleasant, partially traffic-free walk westwards along James’s Street, down the concrete steps and uphill into the place. But, provided you know which direction to go along James’s Street when you get off Luas, there is NO SIGN at the top of the steps directing you down towards IMMA, and no sign telling you which way to go at the bottom. If you were to just follow the map, you would end up doing a much longer walk back along James’s Street towards town, then down Kilmainham Lane. And the concrete steps are grotty. They should be improved as a civic route. Why can’t we get these basics sorted out?


Youre quite right there Devin; the grotty concrete steps are of course "Cromwells Quarters", and are featured in Flora Mitchells "Vanishing Dublin". Crossing over the Camac by Bow Bridge links one immediately into IMMA. This short route could be one of Dublins delights for the visitor to the city - but is instead, as Devin notes, grotty and bereft of even the most basic interpretation and signage :(

I wonder have IMMA pushed for enhanced linkage - it is most certainly in their interest?!
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