Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby hutton » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:14 pm

ctesiphon wrote:Image

Given the row that took place over the two adjacent Georgians a few years back, this seems like a bit of a slap in the face to them, no?


That looks fucking ghastly. Darn had I been aware that such schlock was getting let through, I would have lobbed in the objections myself :mad:

I know there are those that may criticise facadism, but if ever there was a case for infill in the vernacular idiom, this was it.

Why oh why do we get this constant shove by architects that every single new city building must be "iconic", "landmark", blah blah? Build every building as a "landmark" in a terrace and you end up with no landmarks.

And there was me for years waiting for the infill to take place on what historically has been an underdeveloped site - complete the terrace as it were...

I can only hope - as suggested by another poster - that the render does the scheme poor justice... and that's stretching it :(
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby hutton » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:46 pm

Just after looking over the planning history of this. The design is by Arthur Gibney and Partners :eek:

Unless this render is particularly misleading I just can't see how Arthur in more recent years would have conceived this... Given the setting it's about as appropriate as ESB on Fitzwilliam Street!

A couple of applications were declared invalid prior to this, eh, 'streetscape scar' getting through in late '07...
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby GrahamH » Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:00 am

Yes I remember reading this planning file a while back, with the planner being quite harsh in criticising the initial proposal. If the above is the revised scheme, one can only imagine what the original design was like! :eek:. I do distinctly recall the planner noting that red sandstone should be employed and me thinking no no no. If ever there was a case for a clever brick infill, this is it. Reproduction would work equally well (for some reason it doesn't seem quite a pressing here - perhaps because the rest of Harcourt Street isn't that visible at this point with the sharp curve). It's such a shame that Zoe and Cosgraves et al gave brick such a bad name in the 1990s. Short of the odd DeB&M offspring, there isn't a single example of a quality modern brick building in Dublin. An extraordinary and damning indictment of just how incontextual architecture can be in Dublin.

The guiding measure with which to assess the Hugh Lane extension is quite simple: did Chambers design Charlemont House with a three-storey glass wall to one side in mind? Well then. Just as you don't arse about with the Baggot Street Bank of Ireland with a balustraded parapet and classical infill walls between the blocks, you don't hamfistedly extend a neoclassical manion with multiple sheets of aquamarine glass sheathing the rump of a glorified fire escape.

Unlike Foster's magnificent roof at the British Museum where the essence of the buildings and the courtyard has been retained - if not in fact enhanced - Charlemeont House has quite simply been mauled. And with the adjudicating planning authority also being the client, there wasn't a hope of an alternative opinion on this.

btw excellent work Morlan ;)

Shay Cleary's Joshua House on Dawson Street is probably my favourite infill in Dublin of the boom years. The alternating from reticent fawn stone for the main block to avoid dominating over the Mansion House, to the crisp matt red sandstone of the adjacent brick terrace is clever, modest and thoroughly contextual. The only downers are the top-up storey ,which lends an over-bearing heaviness to the ensemble, and the rather bizarre array of seemingly retained gate piers and reproduction railings, generating confusion on pretty much every level.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby Service charge » Sat May 02, 2009 3:51 pm

Well it's up, and man does it suck. Seriously this is terrible, Another bunker building in Georgian Dublin. How does it connect with the street and passing trade.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby Service charge » Sat May 02, 2009 3:57 pm

Sorry those shots need rotating. Here's the entrance again. Really has no relationship with the street.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby damnedarchitect » Sat May 02, 2009 4:29 pm

That is truly horrific. Sigh.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby GrahamH » Sat May 02, 2009 10:22 pm

I passed this shortly after unveiling a fortnight ago, and frankly I hadn't the heart to post another damning assessment of yet another lost opportunity for intelligent, stimulating infill in Dublin.

Words defy the bewildering, sputtering, jaw-dropping reaction induced by this astoundingly ignorant piece of commercial trash. On two occasions, what is effectively a 1960s curtain wall of factory-churned powder-coated aluminium windows, was refused by way of planning condition. Why they are still there - never mind ever proposed by persons claiming to be accredited architects - is beyond me.

This is not architecture. This is not a structure worthy of debate. This is a project not worth expending energy, never mind passion, on. For something of this character to be erected on probably the most famous infill site in the capital, and by a firm with supposed architectural conservation credentials, sadly encapsulates everything that is wrong with architecture and planning in Ireland.

Shameful.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby bitasean » Mon May 04, 2009 8:55 am

wonderfully put GrahamH - with so many young architects out of work at the moment this would be the perfect target for some archi-activism. Surely a mob could be mustered to demonstrate against such anathema?
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby johnglas » Mon May 04, 2009 12:07 pm

Just a thought: there is a view that contemporary students of 'art schools' basically can't draw, paint or sculpt (hence 'installation/conceptual/performance' art). Is there a parallel in contemporary architecture?
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby reddy » Tue May 05, 2009 9:14 am

Cheers for the pictures - it is absolutely awful - these pictures hide the worst part of it though - in classic modern Dublin style there's the most horrific looking setback storey at the top, visible from the Green. Adds insult to injury.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby gunter » Tue May 05, 2009 11:26 am

Ali (the city architect) has a snappy definition of what is 'good architecture':

[INDENT]''Architecture that is clear, generous, appropriately ordered and scaled, positive to context and well crafted''.[/INDENT]

OK, it's not that snappy, but we'll use it for marking this Harcourt St. in-fill.

Clear: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . you'd have to say 9/10, I mean it is pretty fecking clear!
Generous: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . more greedy than generous, I'd say 3/10
Appropriately ordered and scaled: . . . oops! in big trouble here, 2/10
Positive to context: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .no, no, thumbs nose at context, 2/10
Well crafted:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . maybe, but coppied straight out of the facade cladding brochures, 4/10

that comes out at 40%, . . . . so scrapes a 'D'

Comments: . . . . . Johnny is a pleasant student, but to be honest, he hasn't open a book this term.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby what? » Tue May 05, 2009 12:59 pm

Clear: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/10 It is clear in the sense that it is clearly an insult or that a child could clearly have designed it. A previously respected architectural practice should aspire to something more.insult
Generous: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0/10 The only generosity (or apathy, stupidity perhaps?) lies in the planning approval for such muck. insult
Appropriately ordered and scaled: . . . 0/10 scale deals with more than adjoining parepet heights with a set back. insult
Positive to context: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0/10 insult
Well crafted:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . if i had as little respect for numerical structures as this building has for its built context i would give a minus figure here.

This is quite possibly the most poorly crafted facade to be found within the canals in the last 5 years and the fact that it is on Harcourt St. makes my mind boggle. even more so that Gibney's are behind it. it is a truly shocking subtraction to the cityscape.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue May 05, 2009 2:43 pm

I cannot believe how bad that is - the glazing in particular is spectacularly kack-handed and ugly.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby StephenC » Tue May 05, 2009 5:13 pm

Looks even more ugly in person. And the set back is easily the most horrendous thing I have seen.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby hutton » Tue May 05, 2009 6:59 pm

Desperate, just f-ing desperate :mad:
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby GrahamH » Tue May 05, 2009 10:04 pm

It is of considerable concern that a development of this kind can still pass through the system unchecked, never mind that a site of such importance can be so disfigured by professional architects.

Reading through the planning files relating to this site (and a particularly convoluted history it is too), what strikes one above all is the backwards nature of the planning system, whereby the design of a facade - i.e. effectively an entire building in the case of an infill site - is deemed to be of such insufficient worth as to be amended simply by way of Additional Information, rather than the proposal being rejected outright and redesigned. This is extremely common, symptomatic of the planning system at large, and a practice which exhibits its ill-effects in spectacular fashion in cases such as this. Indeed, the system is such an ass that this proposal appears not to have even been caught at the first hurdle of a pre-planning consultation.

Proposals for the site varied from the use of bright Jura limestone and granite cladding with staggered fenestration, to the executed incarnation of a half-baked stone frame filled with proprietary windows. It was planners meanwhile, who suggested the use of 'sandstone or brick' as a cladding material, and insisted on the use of timber windows in place of the aluminium curtain wall. How these radical (if worthy) modifications could possibly translate into a coherent design simply by way of Additional Information (presumably with little or no further pre-decision consultations or thrashing out of ideas) is anyone's guess.

Indeed, this confused and conflicting manner of conducting affairs has directly led to the mess we have now - the architects’ initial justification for a starkly different cladding to the surrounding context being: “In our choice of materials we have deliberately avoided colour tones close to those of the surrounding brick buildings in order that the new infill will read distinctly.” Whatever one’s opinion on the doctrine of compare-and-contrast, at least this option would have led to a legible streetscape. What we now have is a diluted concoction that is about as satisfying as navy on black, directly as the result of planners' intervention.

The choice of red sandstone cladding is crass, uncomfortably luxurious and historically incongruous on a modest brick street, and clashes in the worst way possible with its immediate neighbours: effete dusty pink layered on robust claret red. Eye-watering. The building screams compromised gap-filler and exhibits nothing of the weight required to confidently sustain the cliff-like massing in a sensitive fashion. The overlap on the right-hand house at parapet level is jarring, while the vertical band of white render below, transplanted from a developer estate in a field in Tullamore – even if possibly yet to be finished – is arbitrary and ham-fisted beyond belief.

But nothing, nothing, compares to the window system employed. Words simply defy the ignorance of such a nasty piece of work, disregarding the arrogance of the wider framed concept in the first instance. The vista of visually polluting sticky-out windows – not even casements to ease the pain – when approaching from the Green is grotesque. Their use by any architects in any principal elevation in this day and age, never mind on a city centre commercial building, on one of the most challenging infill sites in the city, in an historic context, on a Georgian street, on a curved Georgian street where the entire gracious effect is dependent on the semi-profiled vista, and on a building forming the important introductory stretch of one of Dublin’s most elegant thoroughfares, simply beggars belief. Just astounding.

Even the very last planning exchange, from as late as August 2008, expressly stated:

c) The powder coated aluminium windows shall be omitted and replaced with timber joinery as shall the stainless steel channel proposed by way of additional information on the 24/10/07.

Ivy Exchange eat your heart out.

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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby Smithfield Resi » Tue May 05, 2009 11:39 pm

Well said Graham,

I stumbled on this gem from the planning files.

3.Prior to commencement of development the applicant shall submit details to the planning authority for written agreement of how it is intended to treat the private landing between the railed areas of No.s 4 & 6 Harcourt Street. Reason: To ensure a satisfactory standard of development within this Conservation area.

I take it we feel this is not "a satisfactory standard of development within this Conservation area"...
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby Devin » Thu May 21, 2009 9:37 pm

Service charge wrote:Image
Apart from the lack of finesse in the front windows, I have no problem with this bit of infill. It is broadly in the context of the modern hotel at the corner.

The changing of the cladding by the planners was a wise move. The original proposal was bright stone, eek. What is it about architects? They always want their own building to jump out.

Btw, sorry if I said this before BUT, we love picking over development on this site once it's done. SmithfieldResi recently put up a live proposal for demolition of a significant historic chapel at St. James's Hospital. That's the time to talk about it. We're getting out of hand with lengthy picky reviews of completed jobs on archiseek lately.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 21, 2009 10:25 pm

Quite the opposite Devin - there hasn't been nor is there enough. As far as I see it, too much - if understandably so - has been put on the shoulders of the planning profession on this site over the years. Architects, bizarrely, have relatively speaking escaped assessment when it comes to new development such as the above. We need more analysis of architecture in Dublin, not less.

I agree so much criticism (by that I mean assessment) transpires after the horse has bolted, and I fully concur that any civil society must play a part in shaping its planning process, but quite frankly if architecture and planning professionals cannot even resolve such a critical infill site with so much as a modicum of competence, then I really don't see what else can be done. It shouldn't be up to citizens to steer such projects, and even if you did, you wouldn't be listened to by supposed professionals. Paying out a further €230 to have basic standards enforced by real professionals in ABP is simply not sustainable or realistic for most people.

Devin wrote:Apart from the lack of finesse in the front windows


The facade is the windows! There's virtually nothing else! There is no parallel to be drawn to the elegance of the glazed corner. It's an entirely different league. I agree the change in colour of stone was worth doing, but only relative to it being white or cream as proposed, i.e. the best of a bad lot. It should never have been stone.

This is a shockingly poor piece of design which I refuse to waste energy on. Even located down on Mayor Street this yoke would look ungainly and shoddily detailed. On Harcourt Street it is simply horrific.
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Postby pippin101 » Mon May 25, 2009 1:21 pm

Can't agree more with the lack of sensitivity this dross shows to an otherwise beautiful street. I had been watching the Plant Store vacant site for many years waiting for its demolition and I assumed it would be an opportunity to reinstate the missing part of the Georgian facade. I was wrong.

Devin it's justifiable to complain about this even though it's complete because we expected so much more from the architects and they delivered nothing, and also it seems they didn't comply with the directions they were given from ABP.

Seriously, someone needs to be punished for this.

The only upside its that the replacement building is so awful that it hopefully won't last more than 20 years.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby gunter » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:34 pm

Interesting piece in the Irish Times today:

[INDENT][I]Search for 'small bang' designs for inner city

OLIVIA KELLY

A COMPETITION to find new architectural designs for the sites of former Georgian houses demolished in Dublin city centre will be held by Dublin City Council on Saturday.

Some 17 groups of architects and architecture students have been asked to design replacement residential buildings based on individual plots of former Georgian houses on Dominick Street which had been demolished over the 1950s and 1960s and replaced with social housing flats. The complex, built in 1970, was one of five due to have been redeveloped through a public private partnership (PPP) between the council and developer Bernard McNamara.

Following the collapse of the PPPs last year, the council decided to go ahead with the redevelopment of social housing on the east side of the street in 2011.

It will release sites on the west side for private development at a later date.

City architect Ali Grehan said the competition resulted from concern about the poor design quality of many “infill” schemes for former Georgian plots in the inner city and loss of appropriate scale when several plots were accumulated for a development.

“Some developments in the historic core over the last 10 years have been out of scale with their plot size, particularly where plots were accumulated for larger development and it has resulted in a loss of rhythm of the streetscape.”

The council was not seeking a pastiche replacement of Georgian Dublin, but it should be possible to insert contemporary buildings that respected the Georgian streetscape, Ms Grehan said.

“We have to keep the door open on every option for the city, but we’ve had the ‘big bang’ large chunk development, so maybe it’s time to look at incremental development – the smaller bang.”

On Saturday morning, each team of architects will be allocated a plot based on the 1909 Ordnance Survey map of the west side of Dominick Street.

They will have until 4pm to make a model of a primarily residential building that could accommodate several apartments or be a single house. It may or may not have commercial space on the ground floor.

The designs that emerge may not necessarily come to fruition, but will be just one option for the future development of Dominick Street or other infill sites of its kind in the city, Ms Grehan said.

The Dublin House competition will take place at Block C in Smithfield Market, the resulting designs will be on view in Smithfield as part of Innovation Dublin week.[/INDENT][/I]
Now this is a step in the right direction, is it not?
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby KeepAnEyeOnBob » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:25 am

Just as regards the building people were commenting on back in May - there's an almost as hideous one of these as infill on Georgian terrace on O'Connell Street in Limerick. Bing maps link.

I consider it nothing less than vandalism to stick something as awful as these into the middle of fine buildings.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby gunter » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:59 pm

Image

Any feedback on this? . . . . . or does gunter have to go to every single event

This could have been a really worthy exercise, if it generated debate about alternatives to the urban regeneration models we've been using up to now, but if the information doesn't filter out into the wider community, it's not going to generate much excitement!

There were a couple of photos on the Architecture Foundation website, but even these focused mostly on the participants, rather than the actual work and, God help it, for all it's interactive aspirations, the IAF website is like watching trendy paint dry.
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby spoil_sport » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:12 pm

gunter, what is "this"?
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Re: Georgian infilling in Dublin.

Postby Global Citizen » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:48 am

And Gunter, where is "this"?
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