Heuston framework plan

Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:42 pm

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


IMMA always seemed to me to be unnaturally relaxed about the huge numbers of visitors that trudge past them en-route to Kilmainham Gaol, without ever darkening their door.

This could have something to do with the fact that museums seem to have their own rules for calculating visitor numbers that don't seem to be dependant on counting actual visitors. I know that when Declan McGonigal was director of IMMA, they were using an automatic counter on the entrance door, so irrespective of whether the 'visitor' was coming in to look at the 'art', or buy a coffee, or fix a light bulb, they were counted in the annual attendance! I wouldn't even be surprised if they counted the door swing that got you out again, but I couldn't absolutely swear to it.

Back in McGonigal's time, you had to go through the IMMA main door just to get to the cafe, which in my experience, 90% of the visitors to the RHK did, never going anywhere near the 'art'. I often had to wait outside for five or ten minutes, waiting for someone to swing the door, just to avoid giving him the satisfaction of counting me in his annual attendance.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Rusty Cogs » Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:23 pm

I'd say that impressed the girlfriend :p
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby massamann » Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:40 pm

That kind of patience and determination is frowned upon in frenetic Celtic Tiger Ireland where the quick buck, fast food, plastic culture is king. How sad. :(

I for one applaud your principles gunter, even if it does make you seem like a sad, pathetic person. ;)
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:02 pm

In the absence of big victories massamann, it's the little victories that count!

Here's a google map/diagram of the RHK grounds showing the location of the various 'enclave' developments around it's perimeter.

Image

Despite the fact that the RHK grounds are nearly twice the size of Stephen's Green, there are only two entrances (marked with green Xs), located at the east and west extremities of the site. The whole northern boundary consists of a planted screen to St.John's Road as a buffer to the dual carriageway here and the Heuston railway yards beyond. Beyond that, a bit to the west, and behind another embankment and boundary wall is the Clancy Quay development.

There is potential for connectivity, but it will require open minds and a full IAP, or LAP, focused on the Royal Hospital grounds to demonstrate where the connections can be made. At the very least, I'd be in favour of punching several holes in the RHK boundary walls to get it into some kind of public use.

As well as just puncturing holes, there is also a case for re-imagining the RHK grounds as two separate amenity resources, one, formal in character, and focused on the Royal Hospital complex and the recreated 17th century clasical gardens in the east, and the other, more informal and archaeological in character, focused on Bullys Acre and the heritage of the Knights Hospitaller's preceptory, the 'Castle House of Kilmainham' and it's predecessor the Gaelic monastry of St. Maighnan, in the west.

The historic west avenue would still link the two, but the northern boundary and, to a lesser extent, the southern boundary, could be modified to open up the park as a kind of 'town green' as opposed to the 'walled estate' that it is now. The wonderful 'Meadows' area of Edinburgh is an example of this type of amenity space in the heart of a city, no walls, no railings just undulating parkland criss-crossed by paths and fronted by high quality urban terraces.

In this scenario, a new, one sided, access street could be swept in from St. John's Road West creating a wedge of mixed commerial and cultural development in a triangle bounded by this new curved route to the south, the presently bleak frontage to St. John's Road to the north and the wall of the formal gardens to the east, where a restrained, civic scale, frontage could balance the HSQ mega-development on the opposite side.

A new north/south pedestrian route separating this development wedge from west wall of the the classical gardens would formalise an impressive vista to the Wellington monument, (a real vista that you won't need binoculars, or imagination to see). The new park frontage street would take all vehicular access to IMMA in from St. John's Road and provide direct access the existing car and bus parking areas, without having to drive around three sides of the 17th century Royal Hospital building, as is the case now.

Image

I know the lawn lovers will be up in arm again, but there's still loads of grass for everyone.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:38 pm

I've attached (I hope) a pic of the Meadows as mentioned by gunter. It's a fabulous space (even if it is in Embra) and it is really a town 'common'. You could do this with the RHK grounds (though you won't have Arthur's Seat - an old volcano - in the background), but critically there needs to be enclosure, so you may have to build on part of the grounds to achieve it.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:42 pm

This amazing pile (Barclay-Bruntsfield church; Pilkington 1862-4) is at the other (west) end of the Meadows; Edinburgh's answer to Monkstown church?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby jdivision » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:43 pm

Wasn't that bought by Blackrock International Land who intend to develop the grounds?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:09 pm

johnglas wrote:I've attached (I hope) a pic of the Meadows as mentioned by gunter. It's a fabulous space (even if it is in Embra) and it is really a town 'common'. You could do this with the RHK grounds (though you won't have Arthur's Seat - an old volcano - in the background), but critically there needs to be enclosure, so you may have to build on part of the grounds to achieve it.


johnglas:

That's exactly what I'm talking about. Sorry for making you go to Embra! The meadows, looking the other way, towards Bruntsfield and the Golf Tavern, would be even better.

I agree, the right amount of enclosure is the key.

Hey johnglas, now that you're with the pixels, any chance we might persuade you to go up the road to Cumbernauld and take a few shots of the future, 60s style, I can't find any of mine from a few years ago. I was shocked to find that some of it had been knocked down, surely Cumbernauld is a List 1 structure?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:18 pm

gunter: you've given me a project; prob not anytime soon, but I will try. C'nauld is a bone of contention (that's a philosophical statement); it's universally derided as the epitome of dullness, although most of the ire is directed at the awful 70s shopping centre. However, having been designed as an 'Italian hill town' (I kid you not), it then sold its integrity by an ill-conceived suburban sprawl to the north, It suffers from 1970s dull municipal worthy greyness, which in the west of Scotland is like saying it could be the outer suburbs of Nowa Huta. Leave it with me.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:23 pm

Another one of the (frosty) Meadows, looking towards Bruntsfield and the west (with the wonderful Golf Tavern at the left).
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:21 pm

OPW puts plans for Dublin skyscraper on hold
The Irish Times

Plans to create Ireland's tallest building, a 32-storey skyscraper by Heuston Station in Dublin, are the latest victim of the downturn in the property market. Three years after securing planning permission to build the apartment block as part of a residential, office and cultural centre, the Office of Public Works has put the ambitious development on hold. The OPW is still saying the project could proceed, but with just two years left on the planning permission, industry sources say this is very unlikely in its present form. At the height of the property boom, the land with planning permission was estimated to be worth €100 million, but is unlikely to fetch that sum in current market conditions. A spokesman said the State body had not been in contact with any potential developers in the private sector about a joint venture, nor had it opened discussions with the HSE, Revenue Commissioners and Garda Síochána, which occupy part of the 4.5-acre site and would have to leave before development could begin.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby missarchi » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:53 pm

paul you would think the same of the heuston quarter?
It would not surprise me... with the cost of building over tracks
I still could not understand the logic of the steel approach... vertical triangles and a gap for tall poppies
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby jdivision » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:18 pm

surprising my comment about the article above being a ripoff of one in the tribune was deleted. Yet again IT relying on other papers for news.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:20 pm

Since we're already having a bad day!

The big ugly brown scheme at the RHK just went for AI.

Image

Out of sheer desperation, I'm goin to try and read some positives into the planner's report.

[INDENT]'The (original) masterplan and parent permission set out an urban design structure, which was organised with a simple clarity and coherence.'[/INDENT]

[INDENT]'The proposed Block 6 introduces a type of building massing and envelope, which is at variance with the established parameters of the site.'[/INDENT]

[INDENT]'The overall massing and scale of the building needs to be re-evaluated taking into account the original urban design structure established as part of the masterplan and in particular the parent permission.'[/INDENT]

[INDENT]'The proposed building introduces a type of building massing and scale that could compromise the usability of the Civic Square (to the north) and the residential square to the south.'[/INDENT]

[INDENT]'From all viewpoints the building reads as a very large mass, which could overwhelm the public spaces . . '[/INDENT]

In fairness to Emma Deane, the planning officer, that isn't a bad table of observations.

Unfortunately, that's as far as it goes, where you would expect the next line to read: 'Accordingly we REFUSE PERMISSION'! instead the bottom line reads: 'REQUEST FURTHER INFORMATION'.

The AI will consist of:

1. A bucket full of new photomontages from specified locations including several from which we won't be seeing the building.
2. Another model.
3. A 3D visualisation of the movement through the pedestrian route.
4. The applicant is invited to 'review' the overall massing etc.
5. The applicant is requested to 'address' how their sceme appears to compromise the quality and usability of the civic square.
6. Shadow analysis
7. Add 'green' features to the proposed Block 6 in order to provide a more 'holistic' strategy for the building's environmental performance.
8. Revise the depth of floor plate from 17m to 14m.
9. Provide more info on the economic impact on the area and the city.


I could be wrong, but the key paragraph in the Planner's report seems to be the final passage in the Assessment:

'The proposed development could have significant economic and social benefits and synergies with the other substantial private and public investments in the surrounding area boosting the attractiveness and competitiveness of the city and achieving strategic planning objectives such as as regeneration and rebalancing the city on an east-west basis.'

This is a dry, and I hope reluctant, synopsis of the effusive 6 page inter-departmental report filed by the DCC Economic Development Unit, headed by one Kieran Rose, senior planner.

As usual with a Rose report, instead of a bit of common sense and critical judgement, you get loads of buzz words ( progressive, synergy, dynamic, competitive, innovative, creative ), woven into a dense tapestry overlaid with multiple quotations from obscure sources:

Vlad Mykhnenko?
Competitive Cities in the Global Economy,
Ivan Turok,
The Creative Knowledge Economy in Dublin,
Christian Hilber
The cost of Reulatory Constraints on the British Office Market,
The Barker review of Land Use Planning,
Regional Policy and Agglomeration Economies in Ireland,


None of this probably matters anyway because the bottom line for Rose is: 'The architects are Make and they have an international reputation for innovative architecture and this adds to Dublin's assets as a 'Creative City''

That sounds a lot like the thinking that gave us the Clarence, It's a Foster, we must have a Foster.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:06 am

and another thing,

How did this application get past that woman in the basement who keeps sending back my planning applications because the ad didn't say 'Velux window on the roof',' or some such?

They've described this development as: 'Modifications to Blocks 5B & 6'!

Have they changed the meaning of the word 'modify'?

My Little Oxford Dictionary defines 'modify' as 'tone down, qualify; make less sever; make partial changes in.' !

Then they've had the audacity to describe the new block as: 'a mixed use building'!

The block consists of 26,000m.sq. of office floor space and less than 1,000m.sq. of ground floor retail and cafe use. That's 96.3% office and 3.7% something else! That like calling Leinster House a mixed use building, because it's 97% talking shop and 3% security hut.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:10 pm

gunter wrote:
Despite the fact that the RHK grounds are nearly twice the size of Stephen's Green, there are only two entrances (marked with green Xs), located at the east and west extremities of the site. The whole northern boundary consists of a planted screen to St.John's Road as a buffer to the dual carriageway here and the Heuston railway yards beyond. Beyond that, a bit to the west, and behind another embankment and boundary wall is the Clancy Quay development.

There is potential for connectivity, but it will require open minds and a full IAP, or LAP, focused on the Royal Hospital grounds to demonstrate where the connections can be made. At the very least, I'd be in favour of punching several holes in the RHK boundary walls to get it into some kind of public use.

.


stop. just stop. It's bad enough that such a wonderful oasis in the city is overlooked by the Heuston development - now you want to saturate the place with humanity. There's 2 entrances to RHK. If people want to use the gardens, they use those entrances. End of story. stop trying to turn the place into St Stephen's Green. So what if it's convoluted, so wht if it's not "convenient". f**k convenience and f**k this contamination. next thing, you'll be wanting to turn the Royal Oak into a wine bar.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:57 pm

There is no force on earth that could turn the Royal Oak into a wine bar.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:56 pm

gunter wrote:There is no force on earth that could turn the Royal Oak into a wine bar.


Bono.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby GregF » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:57 am

The amount of buildings -offices/appartments , etc...crammed into the Heuston plot is really OTT. It's gone to the other exteme now!
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnny21 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:03 pm

The HSQ must be nearly completed now. Any news on the development???
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Bago » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:17 am

johnny21 wrote:The HSQ must be nearly completed now. Any news on the development???
Walk up past heuston station and look in through the large open gate. Well underway but far from finished. Completed Eircom building also has a very poor relation to the street, a very sandyfordesque approach to the street level.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnny21 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:23 pm

Bago wrote:Walk up past heuston station and look in through the large open gate. Well underway but far from finished. Completed Eircom building also has a very poor relation to the street, a very sandyfordesque approach to the street level.


Thanks bago:)
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:41 pm

About a year ago, the OPW re-configured the Irwin Street entrance to the RHK / IMMA, pulling the entrance back from the street and duplicationg the original single entrance to have dedicated IN and OUT gates. In general, most people agree that they did a decent job.

However, the planning application at the time promised that the original armorial crests which topped the early 18th century entrance pillars, would be replaced by 'something more appropriate' to the current function of the building as the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

It appears that we now have that 'something more appropriate to the entrance to the Irish Museum of Modern Art', and it resembles three cheap, stainless steel, toilet roll holders!

Image
A subliminal message perhaps that the art you are about to see is crap?

Image
The original gate with the original armorial crests in place, taken from the inside.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:53 pm

It's perhaps a sign of the times that when the 'masters of the universe' in the banks are proven to be shysters (if not actually crooks), these new entrance gates at RHK signify, as gunter says, the lack of any real artistic content within. I recently visited the Glucksman and the Crawford galleries in Cork; the Glucksman was wonderful (if a bit too 'industrial' in feel internally), but the 'art' exhibits were absolute junk, apart from one about books, while the Crawford had great expansive new spaces (eccentric on the outside, again a bit industrial and poorly-finished on the inside) with absolute rubbish swilling around inside. Both were empty more or less apart from the cafe in the Crawford. Maybe our more realistic view of the limits of capitalism will be mirrored in our new view of the 'arts'. Architectural spaces are great, but if you can't fill them with anything interesting, what's the point? The RHK should become the 'Museum of Dublin', showing real stuff about real people and places. It's too good a building to waste on anything else.
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