Heuston framework plan

Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby CM00 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:11 am

Ok, first of all Johnglas + gunter, we can agree that the OPW's "interpretation" of what the IMMA represents is to say the least -crude and ugly-. I also agree that the quality of detailing in the Crawford is in the whole poor and in some cases terrible. It seems that Erik von Egeraat comes from the school of "Concept" in Holland; a country where the "ideas" industry is becoming increasingly separate from the "implementation" industry. (i.e. architects with big ideas but no detailing abilities/duties)..

With regard to the quality of Art in the IMMA, I have to say that I disagree with your sentiments. Over the last year I have been there numerous times and on each occasion I have taken something from the Installations and touring presentations which frequent the institution. The turn-over of artists and displays is refreshingly frequent and there is a pleasant air of respectful interest about the place.

In addition, Johnglas, your statement that the art exhibitions were complete "junk" is just that, your opinion, and I would say that interpretation of modern pieces is almost totally subjective. The Glucksmann's programme is very consciously avant garde and as such is bound to be somewhat hit and miss, whilst the permanent works on the ground floor of the Crawford are generally classics of post 1900 Irish Art. It certainly is not rubbish "swilling around inside".

The idea of the RHK becoming a "museum of Dublin" is, quite frankly a load of tripe. In my opinion, the site is barely geographically appropriate for it's slightly off the mainstream Irish museum of modern art status. Why would it suit a museum "for the people of Dublin" more? It is not really suited to the role of an art gallery but it is even less well suited to that of a "folk" or "real life" or even "real people and places" - what does that even mean? Photographs of real people and places? i.e. modern interpretations of real people. i.e. MODERN ART. which it is clearly - by your standards - wasted. Or perhaps you mean it should have high quality reproductions of streetscapes and historical scenes - either way, the low ceilinged, narrow corridor-ed RH Kilmainham is wasted?! as a public amenity which consistantly draws a significant amount of tourists and locals.

Oh, and the restaurant in the Crawford is famous for it's food, it has links to the "Darina Allen" family of cookery... the food is thar barr.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Rory W » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:17 am

IMO there's only one place for a museum of Dublin and thats the civic museum on South William Street - the fact that this building has been left to rot for about 10 years at this stage is nothing short of a discgrace. What's wrong with having a Dublin Museum right in the middle of the CBD - and locationally some of the hip-kids on St William might learn something about their city
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:43 am

CM00 wrote:Johnglas + gunter


First of all, there is no 'johnglas + gunter', I want to scotch that rumour before it gets off the ground.

Secondly, not all 'Modern Art' is junk, but when you take one of mankind's higher aspirations, a tradition of skill and endeavour that has continuously lifted the spirits since the first bison was painted on the first cave wall, and you turn your back on that tradition and give people instead an un-made bed, or a stack of mouldy sliced bread in a shop window, (Temple Bar 1990?) you are going to annoy people.

I don't necessarily subscribe to the view that Damien Hirst should be sat in front of a bowl of fruit with a sketch pad and a 2B pencil, before he's allowed to flog another pickled shark in a tank of formaldehyde, but I can see the csae for some regulation of the term 'Artist', under the Trades Descriptions Act.

On IMMA, I do quite like this piece . . .Image Image

but only because it looks like chocolate!

. .
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby johnglas » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:38 pm

CM00: the other half of the 'deadly duo' has already scotched the rumour that he is Batman and I am Robin (or vice-versa). We can agree to disagree about the content of much 'modern' (i.e. contemporary) art; my point was that these large spaces were hardly adequately served by what was indeed 'swilling' around them (see your own comments about the spaces in the RHK). On the wider point on a 'Museum of Dublin' in the RHK, you may well be right in terms of its suitability and location, but you carried an argument which was not mine ad absurdam. There are many cities which have museums illustrating the history of the place from a variety of perspectives and I believe a city like Dublin needs such a museum; my problem with Sth W St was always that the venue was far too small and the collection too eccentric and not comprehensive or systematic enough.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Devin » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:37 pm

gunter wrote: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.




The Tower of Babel has been reduced somewhat following the AI. It does look a lot more plausible it must be said:

Image

Image
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby layo » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:45 pm

Above mock up actually looks quite nice. It's reminiscent of a toned down Friedenreich Hundertwasser in my opinion. Don't know if any one else agrees?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:58 pm

layo wrote:Above mock up actually looks quite nice. It's reminiscent of a toned down Friedenreich Hundertwasser in my opinion. Don't know if any one else agrees?


I suspect Hundertwasser would be turning in his urn if he thought a corporate office block was claiming any of his engaging, chaotic, odd-ball heritage!
Personally I think we're clutching at straws in ascribing the influence of any significant architectural/artistic antecedents to this.

Image Image
Hundertwasser doing his two-dimentional Gaudi thing in Vienna, and the former NMB building in Amsterdam.

I've tried hard to see a bit of the organic architecture of Alberts & Van Huut (NMB building, Amsterdam, 1979 - 87) in this, but apart from the heavy pile build-up, a bit of grass on the roof, and a general shapelessness, it's hard enough to even make this connection.

I agree that we need to look at moving on from the slick sheen of corporate architecture today, but this doesn't do that, it mixes bronze facade panelling with a load-bearing aesthetic and, to me, it looks much more like a square footage grab than an architectural statement.

My biggest problem with this proposal is the chaotic relationship with the RHK and the formal gardens. That diagonal 'sight line' to the Phoenix Park Infirmary (see Devin's model pics) is driving me mad. Because of this protected sight line, the new 'urban' square within the scheme is squashed and dark, while a wasteful, triangular, nothing space is created between the three westernmost blocks and the wall of the formal gardens! This is daft IMO, as is the insipid hotch-potch of an elevation that they'll be presenting to the gardens, which they've kept low, circa 4 storeys, as if we won't be able to see all the 11 storey stuff behind!

I know nobody else agrees with me, but a strong, punctuated, urban edge right on top of the wall (OK 5m back or whatever) would be far more deferential to the formal gardens than this splayed half-assed setback.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby jimg » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:24 am

Well I actually agree completely, gunter. I believe that the thinking which views this mess as being more respectful to the formal gardens simply because the building heights have been lowered a bit at the perimeter of the site is misguided to say the least.

It would be far preferable to reinforce the garden's boundary instead of completely disregarding it which is what has been done here by effectively introducing a new visual boundary; i.e. the broken hodge-podge of angles, heights, styles and materials which comprise the faces of the buildings immediately visible from the gardens. I would have had no objection to a terrace of 10 or 12 storied buildings a little behind and properly aligned with the existing wall reinforcing the garden's edge. In fact, this would have been far superior by respecting the boundaries of the formal garden and the lines its layout establishes. I imagine 'though that the knee-jerk reaction against such a proposal would have been very strong.

I think even among some of the well-meaning planners and critics, there is a subconscious belief that height is the most important characteristic of a building. An idea which ironically they share with the most purile of the skyscrapesexuals in this forum who constantly bemoan the lack of appropriate masturbatory material in Dublin. Height is always the first feature mentioned: materials, orientation, positioning, etc. are seemingly secondary. On this site, I believe it is the positioning and orientation which should have been the most important issues if they wished to "respect" the formal garden which is all about 2d geometry and not height.

Imagine the gardens of Merrion Square for example without the brooding wall of georgians visible behind the perimeter; would it be better to have dotted bungalows and two storied buildings at various angles where the existing terraces are and have four story buildings poking up behind the "respectful" stunted buildings visible directly from within the park? Admittedly, I'm reaching a bit here but on a grander scale, Central Park on Manhattan shows that parks and formal gardens are not necessarily compromised by nearby tall buildings assuming the positioning is regular; the effect is the opposite in fact by offering contrast.

The original proposal wasn't offensive to me because of its scale - it's not like there is existing built urban grain and scale that it would compromise (it would be highly offensive sighted - let's say - on Thomas Street) - or because of the fact that the developers were trying to maximise the floorspace (I am not motivated by a dislike of what others perceive to be greed) but because it, along with the rest of the "ensemble" completely destroys the visual geometric regularity created by the formal gardens.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:23 am

jimg wrote:I think even among some of the well-meaning planners and critics, there is a subconscious belief that height is the most important characteristic of a building. .


I think this site may also be witness to that time honoured strategy of developers to seek permission for an 11 storey building by first applying for a 13, or 15 storey building.

One of the hardest things to accept about the western half of the HSQ development is the fact that the potential hard edge to the formal gardens (that we're talking about) never seems to have been even considered, once that 'Line of Sight' to the Infirmary was set down as a seemingly immovable parameter.

In dealing with the Royal Hospital, I think it would be fair to say that there has been a long history of nobody knowing what to do.

Just after independence, there were those outline proposals to turn the RHK into a new parliament complex published in The Manchester Guardian, in 1923, followed by decades of use as a Garda headquarters, before total renovation in the early 1980s and ultimately conversion to use as IMMA about 1989.

In the meantime, the grounds were abandoned to nature and the corner, where the HSQ development is now being developed, was covered in sheds and warehouses, some operated by the OPW themselves and some leased to the P&T (Eircom). In 1997, Dublin Corporation produced the 'Kilmainham and Inchicore Action Plan', which identified the 'Eircom' site as the desirable location for ''the relocation of a substantial amount of visitor parking and coaches'' as well as being the site that offered the best opportunity to create a new vehicular entrance to IMMA to take the presure off the two historic entrances, 'The Richmond Tower,' and the older Irwin Street entrance (the one now graced by the 'pimp my art museum' toilet roll holders).

Unfortunately this was the beginning of the era when the OPW couldn't see past the dollar signs in their eyes, so a very different strategy was concocted.

The OPW's first move was a seemingly bizarre planning application to double the size of the existing, very large, car park on the west side of the RHK. Unsurprisingly this application was thrown out by the Planning Department on the basis that it was clearly in breach of the local area Action Plan and also, given that there was never more than a handful of people in IMMA at any one time, the existing car park was patently more than adequate to handle visitor numbers. The OPW were undetered by this setback and appealed to Bord Pleanála stating that '''There is an immediate and urgent requirement by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) for additional car parking to cope with the current visitor demand . . ''
Unbelievably Bord Pleanála overturned the refusal granted the car park extension with token conditions about tree planting and a designated bus parking zone. With this permission in the bag, the OPW wasted no time in tarmacing the whole thing up to the wall of the Garda station.

At the time this just seemed like a daft waste of public money, but the full extent of the devious little manoeuvre soon revealed itself with the posting of a vast planning application for the OPW / Eircom site, which was now fully exploitable on the commercial market, free from any requirement to accommodate visitor access or visitor parking for the multitudes clamouring to access the art in IMMA.

The result of all this is:

[INDENT]1. Now (numerous planning applications later) we have several million square feet of development, in a jumble of multi-storey blocks, crowding onto a part of what used to be the curtilage of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, with no master-plan for the rest of the grounds and no attempt to acknowledge the imbalance that is in the process of being created.[/INDENT]

[INDENT]2. We have (probably) the biggest inner city surface car park in Europe which can only be accessed by driving cars and buses around three sides of the most important 17th century building in the country.

3. We have the remaining 'Meadows area' of the Royal Hospital lands routinely treated as a patch of waste ground to be leased out to commercial concert promoters, corporate fun games event holders and an annual, two ring, circus, despite the fact that the lands, being the site of the Knights Hospitallers Priory, are supposed to be zoned for archaeological protection and every tent peg and circus truck is potentially damaging archaeological strata below the churned up grass.[/INDENT]

[INDENT]4. The final ironic twist is that half of the vast surface car park at the Royal Hospital has now been cordoned off and designated as ''Eircom Car Park No. 3'' to provide a 120 space shortfall in the basement parking provision at the corporate office blocks built on the HSQ site. This is the part of the car park for which there was ''an immediate and urgent requirement by IMMA for additional car parking to cope with the current visitor demand'' !![/INDENT]

Image
The western half of the IMMA car park now cordoned off for Eircom, with circus tents in the distance.
Image

Image
The 'Meadows' area recovering from one of the recent concerts.

Sorry, this went on a bit.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby missarchi » Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:13 am

gunter wrote:I know nobody else agrees with me, but a strong, punctuated, urban edge right on top of the wall (OK 5m back or whatever) would be far more deferential to the formal gardens than this splayed half-assed setback.


I do agree... lets say 7.5 mtr min. 4-5 story and bricks and you have a formal response..
and mabye + 2 or so further back

re the carpark bugs me aswell... there are so many people who cannot afford to buy houses architects included and this would be a prime spot to put the carpark underground... and mabye just mabye build a nice row of 2 storey cottages while giving half the carpark back to green space and pumping a new entrance in from the south
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Bago » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:08 am

Spotted a large building on the corner between the HSE building and heuston station on a 1950s aerial photo in the national photographic archieve. Odd building, 5 storeys high and quite narrow, dutch billy style gables, sitting right on corner of johns road and steevens lane. Looks rather peculiar, you'd never have imagined anything was ever there. Anyone know what happened it or what it was? Lots of oddities in the photographs, disappeared parks and buildings everywhere.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:27 am

missarchi wrote:I do agree... lets say 7.5 mtr min. 4-5 story and bricks and you have a formal response..
and mabye + 2 or so further back

re the carpark bugs me aswell... there are so many people who cannot afford to buy houses architects included and this would be a prime spot to put the carpark underground... and mabye just mabye build a nice row of 2 storey cottages while giving half the carpark back to green space and pumping a new entrance in from the south


leave




it



alone
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:07 pm

Bago wrote:Spotted a large building on the corner between the HSE building and heuston station on a 1950s aerial photo in the national photographic archieve. Odd building, 5 storeys high and quite narrow, dutch billy style gables, sitting right on corner of johns road and steevens lane. Looks rather peculiar, you'd never have imagined anything was ever there. Anyone know what happened it or what it was?


It was the, Victorian era, Nurses Home building, serving Stevens Hospital, and it was cleared at the time that the hospital was renovated and turned into Eastern Health Board offices (HSE). I remember it as an impressive structure, but I think the back and sides, which were probably more visible than the front, were a bit of a mess.

wearnicehats wrote:leave
it
alone


Oh dear! I sense another disagreement about to break out
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby missarchi » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:02 pm

some one is having a bad day:p
its to hot in the south pole... is it true rich rogers is dsylisesx
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:08 am

Image

I'll have to stop refering to this as 'the big ugly brown building', now that the applicants have apparently dropped the 'Bronze' cladding in favour of old-fashioned, high class, 'anodised aluminium'. The planner's report does raise one eyebrow at this little switch, noting dryly that the original sales pitch claimed that the bronze cladding (or possibly, patinated brass) 'offers a richness and depth not seen in materials such as anodised aluminium' !

Anyway, being the Planning Office, they've given it thorough going over and duly taken one floor of the eastern half of the block, reducing it to a modest 10 storeys, before handing it a clean planning permission, together with an invoice for their slice of the action, which is a recession busting 4,082,937 Euro and 59 cent, in 'financial contributions' and 'special financial contributions'!

Any concerns that we might have had about the discordant relationship of this metal clad mega-block to the Royal Hospital's 17th century setting and the set-piece of the formal gardens, appear to have been groundless.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby missarchi » Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:05 am

the piece that looks like chocolate I have seen something similar somewhere...

bronze and brick have a rhyme about it a step down...
don't blame the amen... do you buy

Image

grassy hills or grid bricks
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Devin » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:49 pm

Image

I can't see this being appealed. It's subordinate to RHK, which is the important thing. Plus it will help hide that dreadful imitation-Dubai building which is such a feature in views at the moment :-)

gunter, you'll have to make your peace with the 2003 preserved cone of vision. It's not going anywhere ........ erm, except to the Infirmary & Mag Fort.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:16 pm

We'll see about that.
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Devin » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:19 pm

I agree that the view to the Infirmary from RHK terrace is not much at the moment, but it could be restored, as the NCR vista to the Wellie Monument was restored recently, pic below.

Other than that, gunter I'm surprised you're fixed on the idea of developing the boundary of the gardens. The cone of vision was the right thing to do. The context of RHK is that it's a 17th cen public building in a natural landscape setting. It can be argued that development has come to close to the building and its gardens, or that the site has been overdeveloped (though an argument for 6 years ago) but there's no basis, in historical context terms, for developing along the edge of the formal garden.


Image
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:02 am

Devin wrote:I agree that the view to the Infirmary from RHK terrace is not much at the moment, but it could be restored . .


Devin, how do you restore a view that's virtually impossible to see in the first place without binoculars? and more importantly, why?

Granted, my eyesight wouldn't be 100%, and some of my difficulty with this vista to the cupola on the Infirmary, may have do do with the fact that I can't actually see it, but what I can see is the full-blown urban quarter springing up on the edge of the formal gardens and it's this immediate relationship that strikes me as more important.

Devin wrote:The context of RHK is that it's a 17th cen public building in a natural landscape setting. . . . there's no basis, in historical context terms, for developing along the edge of the formal garden.


I would very much doubt that there's much basis, 'in historical context terms', for developing anything of the scale proposed anywhere near such a significant '17th century public building in a natural landscape setting'.

I understand the temptation (with or without the distraction of the sight cone issue) to step the development down on the west side, towards the edge with the RHK formal gardens, I just don't think it works.

If it was all just park land, I think it would work, but the presence of the formal gardens presents a different challenge and one that this wretched 'sight cone' issue has given them the opportunity to dodge.

ImageImage

In the Additional Information submission, the applicants assert that one of their 'goals' is to:

'Create a gradual transition in height along the east-west axis of the site, mediating between the urban scale of the masterplan and the park landscape of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham'

No mention there of the Formal Gardens! nothing to suggest that the particular challenge of addressing the particular formalities of a 17th century formal garden ever entered their thinking in any meaningful way, other that to just keep the scale down and hope nobody notices.

I like the urban scale of HSQ and I also like several of the buildings, including the Eircom building and most of Military Road. I also like the fact that, in the re-design of Blocks 5B & 6, they're attempting something different than the orthogonal blocks and straight line planning of the rest of the development, but don't think that this stepped bulky form is the right solution for a formal context that, itself, has enough 'urban square' characteristics to sustain a hard edge (as I've stated before) albeit with lots of gaps and punctuation to link into the mass of the urban quarter behind.

Unfortunately the scanned images on the planning file are too poor in quality to post, but when I look at the images from the formal gardens, I see the kind of jumble of unrelated buildings that you tend to see in places where there is no real concept of 'planning', lots of urban energy, but no evidence of a guiding hand making it all look resolved and respectful of it's immensly important setting.

Obviously, I could be completely wrong!
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby missarchi » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:55 am

here is round 2 of the plan loaded with errors what do you think of the st james hospital connection.... Im not well informed on the blue area but its proposed dense and with a little height...
Attachments
gunter tweaks and more.jpg
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby gunter » Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:01 pm

You've wiped out two early 18th century hospitals and probably paralysed the whole rail network . . . . . but then you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs!

Image

On the subject of our eponymous railway station: Who is the Iarnród Eireann senior executive with overall responsibility for light bulbs?

Does anyone know?
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby reddy » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:02 am

gunter wrote:Image

On the subject of our eponymous railway station: Who is the Iarnród Eireann senior executive with overall responsibility for light bulbs?

Does anyone know?


I'm sure there's a committee!
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby CTR » Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:17 pm

Devin wrote:... as the NCR vista to the Wellie Monument was restored recently, pic below.

Image


How was that achieved? Would look great floodlit at night. Miniature Washington Monument
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Re: Heuston framework plan

Postby Devin » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:51 pm

Major trimming. The trees used to meet in the middle of the road.

The comparison with the Infirmary is that trees need to be cut back to reveal the Infirmary building from RHK terrace. It's hidden at present ..... rather daft given that it was decided to protect this view.
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