what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby StephenC » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:14 pm

the clock looks fab! well done to them
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:03 am

15/12/2009

One hardens to the treatment of old buildings in Dublin. In this city, you're forced to toughen up to the botched jobs, ill-informed alterations and new insertions, and on occasion wholesale demolition that still occurs from time to time, with the capital's historic building stock.

It is disheartening to this happening with modest streetscape buildings. But when the same begins to afflict the city's prestige terraces, you realise something is seriously, seriously wrong.

I got a glimmer of what those watching Fitzwilliam Street crumble before their eyes experienced back in the early 1960s on D'Olier Street this morning. The two central 1950s reproduction houses in the centre of the perfectly uniform Wide Streets Commission terrace of yellow brick, the Commission's best and the city's best, have just been rebuilt in machine-made RED BRICK.

I really don't have the energy to express my sickness at this development, that I just knew from day one would be utterly botched. What has just happened in architectural terms is worse than the wholesale demolition of the end of this terrace here and on Westmoreland Street in the 1980s.

The other possibility is that they were wrongly rebuilt in red brick in the 1950s, and a vigorous cleaning has unearthed the error after half a century, in which case why on earth were they not re-pointed in yellow?!
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:52 am

The emerging Nightmare on D'Olier Street.

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It is now clear that this is a 1950s intervention.

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Why on earth was a rebuild of these two facades not conditioned as part of planning?! Was any investigation even made into the brickwork beforehand? What is particularly galling is the fact that the concrete-framed substructure of the 1950s red brick houses appears to have been demolished - these are a careful facade retention!


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With ghastly double-glazed, top-hung casements left pock-marking the attic storey.

In some of the original buildings, they don't even open. Appalling stuff.

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As for those highly invasive lighting units! I don't remember lengths of gunmetal powder-coated steel strips being one of the trademarks of the Wide Streets Commission.

It's this sort of thing that just makes us a laughing stock in this country when it comes to conservation. Just what was the amount of profit due to be derived from this quantum of development by 2006 standards, taking account of the vast office and commercial insert to the rear? Why on earth was the opportunity not taken by the city authorities to enforce the complete restoration of the capital's flagship Georgian terrace? Do they honestly think in the heat of the 2000s property market that a conditioned rebuilding of the two facades and the reinsertion of the original pair of shopfronts here, would have made the development unviable?

It beggars belief what the city has lost here. A golden opportunity just let slip through its fingers.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby StephenC » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:12 pm

Hmmm. Id be interested to hear everyone's comments on the now completed Times Building?
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:36 pm

Workin' on it!

As are Elliott's with their B&Q hanging baskets. Classy bunch as ever.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:39 pm

Only seeing Graham's shots now, those lighting units must be loudly and vociferously condemned....
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:42 pm

And they're just the attic storey ones...
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby StephenC » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:05 pm

Paul, there's worse than that! Believe me.

Arent the baskets great!
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby PVC King » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:12 pm

I agree the stretch of sodium street lights on a terrace on Harcourt Street surely takes the Carbuncle in this class of fitting.

You'd wonder how any architect dealing with a wide streets commission terrace could possibly advise a client that basement carpark style fittings would enhance the aesthetic or value of their building. Surely no fitting would have been a better option.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:35 am

DISASTER ON D’OLIER STREET

The failure of built environment professionals to understand the composition of historic Dublin has allowed a golden opportunity pass though the city’s hands, while compromising its finest Georgian streetscape legacy.


Any visitor to D’Olier Street over the past number of weeks cannot fail to have been struck by the newly refurbished handsome terrace that comprises the thoroughfare’s western flank. In the warm morning light of late summer, the mellow brickwork and regularity of marching ranks of fenestration present an eye-catching spectacle to the passer-by, and to the hoards of crowds waiting for buses in the gloomy shade on the opposite side of the street. The buildings are commanding, strong, stoical, yet gracious - at once the essence of historic Dublin.

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Conceived by the Wide Streets Commission in the final years of the 18th century as part of the iconic triangle of newly planned streets in the ceremonial centre of Dublin, linking College Green with what is now O’Connell Bridge, D’Olier Street, as with its sister streets, was remarkably innovative for its time. Laid out on a grand scale, matched by a strict architecture of the regimental classical school, the street was ambitiously lined with shop units to the ground floor with living accommodation in the floors above, faced with rigidly proportioned facades of yellow brick with minimal granite dressings. Eventually completed by the early 1810s, this was a mould-breaking development in Europe, pre-dating the establishment of formal retail streets such as London’s Regent Street, and placed Dublin firmly on the international stage.

As the sole surviving Wide Streets Commission terrace in the capital to retain substantial original fabric and design coherence, the former The Irish Times terrace on D’Olier Street is a collection of buildings of not only unique and special importance to Dublin, but is an urban streetscape of European significance. On either of these levels, the terrace demands the highest standards of building conservation, restoration, and design excellence, based principally upon a thorough understanding of the design significance of this terrace. Everything else is secondary. What we have just experienced, however, is a shambles. Ignorance, apathy, poor execution and good old fashioned arrogance are themes that define this project.

By the late 2000s, the former The Irish Times terrace was tired, worn, ill-equipped for modern use and in dire need of restoration. The Irish Times had invested significant funds on the exterior of the terrace in the late 1980s in an attempt to recreate something of the design intention of the WSC, involving the insertion of minimal granite shopfronts where original shopfronts had been lost to create a coherent rhythm along the street, and the removal of façade-mounted signage, plastic fascias and wiring. As part of this project, an expert bricklayer was invited to Dublin from Nottingham to resolve a major fault in the middle of the terrace: a pair of houses that had been rebuilt in red brick in the mid-20th century. An alleged fire that broke out in 1973 has been attributed as the cause of this, however the disastrous fire of 1951 that destroyed much of the printing works to the rear seems more likely. In any event, the houses were rebuilt with a steel frame structure and a glaring red brick façade – red brick probably being perceived as typically ‘Georgian’, in spite of the obvious uniform yellow brick context. The re-colouring of the red brick was remarkably successful; as seen below, after a few years of grime the difference was almost imperceptible.

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Stern and forbidding, the unity of the terrace was admirably restored.

In 2006, developers P. Elliott and Company bought the terrace for €29 million. Clearly the principal aim of the project was to maximize site value through the redevelopment of the former printing works to the rear. Remarkably, they achieved this with gusto, with the application for an arrogantly over-scaled seven-storey office block over basement car parking sailing through the planning process without so much as an appeal.

Works underway.

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An Taisce’s observation in relation to the penthouse storey over the red brick pair being intrusive and inaccurately represented was dismissed by the case planner as the extra storey not being “visually dominant when viewed from either the Westmoreland Street or D’Olier Street areas”. The weak report concluded, “Overall it is my opinion that by virtue of the scale of the penthouse level and the degree to which it projects above the parapet, its location between two chimney elements and relationship to the overall façade composition and existing roof elements, that this element would not be excessively visually prominent and would not have a negative impact on the character of the D’Olier Street conservation area.”

Indeed. Just what about the rest of the development?

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Such spectacularly ill-informed decision making, as was rife during the boom years, has resulted in this outrageous spectacle. To think we have learned nothing a decade on from the Westin.

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No matter where you turn, there is no escaping this arrogant, mindlessly inept, chronically un-contextual pile of junk. The most important vista of all below, from O’Connell Street, is jaw-dropping. Do these people – architects HKR and Dublin City Council planners – know anything about what they’re dealing with? How could this possibly happen in 2007 in a sophisticated society? The very icon of 18th century street planning, defaced by plastic penthouses and service plant?

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Truly, how has it come to this, two decades after the famous ‘bungalow’ was dumped on top of the apex of the two streets as part of an illegal pastiche re-erection of WSC buildings?

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Even basing a fallacious justification for this on an arrogant declaration of a contemporary design statement, it still collapses on its face by virtue of the expressionless, tarted-up, prefabricated biscuit tin spin-off from Hawkins House that has been excreted on top of this masterstroke of urban planning.

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Of course, the impact of the above was selectively depicted in the planning application, as overseen by John Spain Associates planning consultants, from the western side of O’Connell Street, where it was naturally concealed. Views from the GPO were depicted with the clipped lime trees in front of the camera. Infantile stuff. But of course it worked wonders.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:35 am

From the far end of Pearse Street the hulking mass of incoherent clutter of clip-on cladding, services and railings rears its head to double the height of the low Wide Streets Commission curved composition in front.

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The new building’s crumpled facade to Fleet Street has admirable sculptural qualities and is well detailed, but again is at least a storey too high relative to its surroundings.

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The view from the street in certain light is striking and elegant. Quite clearly this solitary element sufficiently bedazzled the planners in typically flashy fashion to wave through the entire scheme unhindered.

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It gets cheaper looking when the sun catches the television set cladding.

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The new building is linked to the WSC terrace by means of an atrium: a common ploy that generally works well with tight sites and historic buildings with unremarkable rear elevations.

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Formerly intended as a signature corporate entrance, it appears this has been significantly downgraded over the course of construction. The humdrum entrance as built.

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It leads into, well, this.

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Er...

Returning to the wider composition, this was the site as proposed.

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And as built. Damn you skip.

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There is of course one glaring difference. Two red brick houses slap bang in the middle of the terrace.

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Complete with that penthouse storey.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:36 am

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This is where the project really begins to fall apart.

Standing back from a singular planning application lodged for a development on D’Olier Street, Dublin City Council by any reasonable standard ought to have had, at the very least, a vision for the future of this critically important terrace, notwithstanding the obvious need for a design strategy agreed upon in-house. First identified by the O’Connell Street IAP as far back as 1998 in requiring refurbishment extending to O’Connell Bridge, the significance of the terrace was further highlighted in a second Dublin City Council policy document: its Shop Front Design Guidelines. In this, Howley Harrington Architects went to considerable lengths to again reiterate the design importance of the terrace and showcase the impact of full unification as originally constructed. Not only were all shopfronts shown reinstated, but upper floors were similarly unified through fenestration and removal of various adornments.

The starkly illustrated scene.

Before

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After

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They emphatically stated: “A proposed restoration scheme is illustrated, showing how impressive this fine urban composition could be if the original detail was to be reinstated. The shaded area on these two drawings highlights the splendid granite surrounds which are such an important feature of the street. When parts of these are removed or distorted, the overall rhythm and composition of the terrace is lost, which reduces its visual and architectural integrity. If reinstated, this cohesive, colonnade-like effect would unify the entire terrace, making it a most impressive and truly significant piece of historic urban design.”

Need any more be said – it couldn’t be put any better.

In spite of this, however, and the substantial public funds paid for such expert advice, architects, planning consultants, public planners and conservation office staff all chose to ignore it and plough ahead with whatever was flung over the planning desk. It simply beggars belief.

Indeed, not only was the principal, critical theme of unification blatantly ignored, this development went out of its way to reverse the consolidating works carried out by The Irish Times. The gobsmacking ignorance involved in removing an expertly applied mortar or colourwash would seem like a joke were it not now standing there for all to see. What makes this all the more galling is that the 20th century brickwork, unbelievably, is a fact a façade retention. Not only was the chance not taken to re-colour the red brick facades after cleaning, the unique opportunity to right an horrendous wrong and rebuild the facades in yellow brick was not grasped either!

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Astoundingly, these people went out of their way to retain one of the most degrading elements of any historic streetscape in Dublin.

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Likewise, the cumbersome detailing of the 20th century granite surrounds with heightened sills was not even remedied.

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Where on earth were the Conservation Office on all of this? Goodness only knows, as the planner’s report states that the Conservation Office expressed no concerns over the development aside from the impact of suspended walkways at the back of the building! Was the historic assessment highlighting the red brick facades even read? Was the especial importance of the terrace and its shopfronts even recognised? Were the photomontages of the office development even looked at? And what conservation professional monitored these works? And, incidentally, where were the Department of Environment on this - one of the few applications affecting historic buildings of prime importance in the State, to whom this application was directly referred. Why was there no objection from there? In effect, what is being exposed is a gaping hole in structures of conservation input and expertise, unlike where in Britain an application of this stature would be almost single-handedly guided to the stringent requirements of English Heritage. Here, it’s a complete free-for-all.

The same absence of standards can be seen with the shopfronts, where unification was not enforced. As previously noted on this thread, the observation lodged by An Taisce urging the restoration the missing original shopfronts and quoting the DCC Shop Front Design Guidelines doesn't even appear to have been understood by the case planner:

"In terms of the proposed shopfronts, the concerns of An Taisce are noted. It would appear however that these concerns are largely met in the proposed development which proposes the refurbishment of the existing shopfronts. Details of signage will be required when end users of the units are identified and details of this aspect should be made the subject of compliance."

How can the needs of reinstating by met by not reinstating? Either they are or they are not. The existing shopfronts are entirely irrelevant. As a result, only part of one solitary shopfront was pieced back together – the rest remained as is. Seen below, the minimal granite surrounds installed by The Irish Times, though handsome in their own way, fail to do justice to the terrace as a whole.

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These were all left untouched.

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The works required to bring these back to their original format is actually much less that first impressions suggest, as the magnificent original panelled granite frieze survives above. All that is required is the insertion of minimally carved pilasters and doorcases to the lower levels. The lack of vision displayed with this project would make one weep.

However, observing the standard of reinstatement of the solitary shopfront at No. 9, it is a matter of some relief that the reconstruction of the missing shopfronts did not form part of this project. The quality of works is shockingly bad. For this standard of workmanship to be employed on a laneway of a provincial town would be bad enough, but on the most important Georgian commercial terrace in Dublin, with original carving serving as an informing template flanking each side, is entirely unacceptable.

Firstly, the granite chosen, unlike that sourced by The Irish Times, in no way matches the rust-toned Kiliney or Golden Hill granite employed in the original shopfronts as seen below.

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It is virtually white.

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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:37 am

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Secondly, the detailing is shockingly bad. Below is an original vigorously carved, idiosyncratic Ionic capital with ebullient egg-and-dart detail.

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And here is the cartoon edition of the 21st century.

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A shameful lack of effort. The detailing couldn’t be weaker and stiffer if it tried. The egg-and-dart is a disgrace.

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In addition, the elegant ridge profile beneath the base of the capital was not reinstated during reproduction. This feature adds considerably to the elegance of the piece – its omission is regrettable.

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The same practice can be seen on the new pilaster plinths at pavement level, where the fine ridge detail of the original in the background is omitted on the new in the foreground. And mortar slopped all over the base of the pilaster to boot. Appalling.

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Worst of all is the neoclassical fluting employed on the new doorcase lintels. What was once an array of 30 deep and forceful incisions into the coarse granite…

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…is now 44 weak marks virtually polished into the new white granite. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Who on earth conducted this work, and who oversaw it?

The same can also be asked of the shoddy construction detail. Finnicky bits stuck in to fill the gaps.

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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:42 am

Repairs and reinstatement of missing details on original fabric has also been sorely lacking, This is the standard of repair work undertaken across the board.

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Mortar specification for even the most basic task of joint filling is clearly inappropriate. Compare the refinement of the original with the new.

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Entire mouldings have been crudely built up using a dense, grey plastic repair mortar instead of splicing in new stone. It has also been liberally smeared over wherever a gap was encountered.

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This ugliness stands in stark contrast to the works executed by The Irish Times c. 1990. Compatible granite carefully spliced into place.

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Unlike the current project.

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Arguably decay of this kind is part of the integrity of the historic fabric. But a simple form such as the above does warrant careful splicing. More elaborate carvings should be left alone.

The iconic corner capitals are in a good state of repair.

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All stonework appears to have been sensitively cleaned. Before and after.

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Again, excuse the hanging baskets. Somebody please save these people from themselves.

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The focal point of the new development is the remodelled central shopfront of the 20th century houses, which retains the older granite insert as a striking proscenium arch. One may stand at ideological loggerheads over the failure to reinsert the original shopfronts, but on its own merit, HKR have done a fine job here in concept, if not quite in execution. The new entrance and flanking window fronts a large reception hall, reading to the street as a confident, yet reticent, crisp insert in the mellow granite surround. Really quite beautiful.

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The tinted glazing is sultry and elegant.

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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:46 am

Alas, up close, matters cheapen considerably, when the overly synthetic coating of the metal becomes apparent and the nasty bands of silicone catch the eye.

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A shame.

It is somewhat made up for by the stunning surface-mounted lettering above. Supremely elegant.

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The corporate entrance hall within. The new home of the Irish Aviation Authority. What a contrast from their premises on Burgh Quay; couldn’t get out quick enough one imagines.

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The cleaning of brick and conservation of sash windows has been one of the positive notes of this development, even if large scale cement pointing was not removed.

Before

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After

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Before

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After

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Before

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After

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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:55 am

Before

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…and, er, After

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Dear oh dear.

The iconic curved corner, Before and After.

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The occasional spalled brick and parts of decayed pointing were repaired with a yellow mortar.

A beautiful ivory has been chosen for the sashes, most of which are reproduction. Only the very occasional original sash with glass survives.

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As can be seen, a system of secondary glazing has been installed, whereby what appears to be an aluminium frame with a central horizontal glazing bar divides the inner window into two separate casements that open inwards. Very effective when one doesn’t have shutter boxes, but alas unacceptable that their street face is white. It should be black or grey. This is easily done with modern aluminium products and should have been insisted upon in a prestige terrace such as this.

One of the distinctive and little known features of this WSC terrace is that the attic level is principally a dummy storey. All of the squat attic windows are consumed to the rear by their roofs, presumably on account of the shortfall in funding the WSC experienced in the opening years of the 19th century. They wanted to economise while keeping up appearances. And standards – which is more than can be said of today. All of the attic windows, with the exception of the curved end where an apartment occupies the attic floor, have been fitted with horrendous mirror glass! An entirely unacceptable state of affairs.

How on earth was this permitted by DCC?

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Shocking stuff. In all honesty, is there anything DCC does not deem as being up to standard? Does it even have standards?

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In the case of the red brick houses, not even the rubbishy modern casement windows with mirrored glass were extracted!

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The vast majority of the upper floors are offices. There are four small apartments in the entire complex, all located on the corner of D’Olier Street and Fleet Street in the curved corner. Each is of two bedrooms, with a kitchen-cum-living room where one is expected to dine at a breakfast bar if space in the dinky ‘living room space’ is to be preserved. What a crying shame in such fine buildings.

Around the back and, well, I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on here. Evidently never resolved from the outset in the early 1800s, or compromised over the years through addition and modification, this area, in spite of its historic fabric, required more serious intervention to sort it out. But it wasn’t.

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As seen to the left above, a former doorway infilled with mismatched brick was left untreated, and appalling grey ruled pointing pasted over the whole lot. What an unholy mess.

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The Wide Streets Commissioners would be rolling in their graves at this standard of finish fronting a prominent public space.

Indeed, this odd kink in the street is now left without proper form or function. Even a nice seat for the patrons for the 150 bus would be a simple, useful and elegant gesture.

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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:01 am

The curious little doorcase around the corner is one of the delights of this terrace. A real charmer. It has been beautifully conserved.

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Some images of the rear area during construction. If there is one overriding sense of awe about this project, it is the immense skill, dexterity and professionalism displayed by the contractors, architects and project managers in working with one of the most challenging, dense and sensitive urban sites conceivable. It is of enormous credit to them to have executed this project under such testing circumstances.

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Most of the cement render appears to have been removed and renewed in lime to the interior of the new atrium. The rabbit warren of the former The Irish Times offices is clearly apparent.

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The demolished 20th century houses and retained red brick façade to the centre.

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The site of the former 1950s printing works, looking west to the rear of the former EBS offices on Westmoreland Street.

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Back to the front and the finishing touches that make every development, the developers saw fit to apply for planning permission for the erection of LED lighting strips the entire way along the terrace’s street façade, at both shopfront and attic storey level. Naturally, any design professional with an eye in their head would never propose such a brutal concept on a spartan, classically ordered Wide Streets Commission terrace, nor would an informed planner even consider it, or an active conservation office approve it under any circumstances. But this is Dublin.

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One could not conceive a greater slap in the face to this elegant terrace if one tried.

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Again, the very concept of applying floodlighting to a group of buildings such as this demonstrates a risible lack of understanding amongst design and planning professionals of what this terrace even is. This is streetscape. It is not a signature building – it is not even a building. It is a collective, an amalgam – ordinary street grain designed to complement wider urban set pieces. To increase its status in such a manner is to distort the very hierarchical design philosophy of the Wide Streets Commission that brought the terrace into being in the first place. The lighting’s addition so late in the day was merely the icing on the cake of a thoroughly misguided project.

John Spain Planning Associates spuriously claimed: “The classic lighting design will enhance and highlight the façade of this historic landmark in keeping with the area’s Architectural Conservation Area status and will bring life to the existing relief decorations of the façade.” “The proposed small lighting units’ size will result in an unobtrusive addition to the building”. “It is submitted that the proposed lighting scheme will provide visual interest, an increased feeling of public safety and accentuate the site’s local and national importance as a landmark structure.”

What?!!

What is more frightening is that the case planner backed it up, in the process erroneously stating that “the units shall be mounted on and concealed by the existing corbels at 1st and 4th floor levels.” Corbels? Concealed?

In some fairness, one cannot expect a planner to know all the ins and outs of historic building stock, so again we must turn to the Conservation Office for advice, only to find that no report was submitted on this case. Thus, there was no conservation input at DCC’s end into this critical planning decision. Yet again. The sole consolation is that that the lighting has a permission of only four years, after which time its impact shall be reviewed. I couldn’t be bothered going to the effort of taking a night time photograph of the lighting, as it is so gobsmackingly awful – even worse than the daytime impact of the units – that it would be unfair to disturb people any more than is necessary.

The shop units have great potential. The dual aspect corner shop would make a lovely café, with a charming shape and aspect, and bathed with sun until midday.

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Running mould cornicing seems to survive in many of the units, and was well repaired/reproduced.

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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:12 am

A beautiful curved staircase survives inside the former public office unit of The Irish Times, where its mezzanine with reproduction balustrade as per the Georgian layout of the shops has been retained.


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It is going to be a challenge finding tenants for these units, but there are plenty of quality service-style uses that would suit them well, in addition to a staple café or retail store.

Related to this project, underscoring the lack of clout the conservation sector has in Ireland, there is little question that compulsory works should have been initiated by Dublin City Council – remember, at the very height of the boom years – to have the final pair of WSC houses, complete with largely intact original shopfronts, restored as part of the composition. In any other developed western society, this would not be given a second thought. Indeed it would be deemed imperative. Here, it’s not even on the radar.

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Unquestionably, these should have been considered for restoration as part of a cut price contract with the adjacent development. Again, no joined-up thinking and no will.

Outside, and the reinstated public realm, as expected, is thus.

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Complete with poured concrete scored to imitate paving. Truly, a world class public realm as aspired to in the upcoming Development Plan.

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Meanwhile, a new pedestrian crossing has been clunkily dumped outside the iconic rounded corner of one of the city’s most important terraces. Paving aside, why are two traffic signal poles being used, when one suffices to hold both signals?

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Never mind the aesthetic damage, why is our money being wasted like this? The same across the road.

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Around the corner on Fleet Street, this is the new, er, public realm. Leaving aside the general absence of, well, anything, why is there a hump in the pavement?

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So the newly created risk of pedestrians falling off can be used as an excuse to put another railing in?

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Really and truly. Honestly...


In conclusion, this project represents all that went wrong during the boom years, where major development interests won out over the common good, and where economic buoyancy was not utilised for planning gain in the broadest sense. Equally, and more pressingly of all, it showcases in very stark terms the underdeveloped and under-resourced state of the conservation sector in Ireland. There was a perception throughout the Celtic Tiger years that with the passing of the 2000 Act, conservation was dealt with once and for all – ‘sorted’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, we have legislation to safeguard built heritage in the courts, but on the ground we have failed abysmally at local authority and government departmental level to ensure the mechanisms, human resources, planning influence, and fundamentally the funding are in place to actively protect architectural heritage. This simply must change.

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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby missarchi » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:52 am

I think its only far it gets a write up in the IT by fstein...
I was always worried about this when I took photos from a bridge one day

Irish Aviation Authority... It looks 70's agent orange theme ave gas? like the cbank?
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby reddy » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:56 am

Really impressive post once again Graham - a fascinating (and as an architect, thoroughly educational) read. Well done.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby corkblow-in » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:26 pm

Agreed - fantastic piece of analysis superbly written.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby KerryBog2 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:41 pm

Thanks - an education.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby Morlan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:23 pm

Fastastic piece, Graham. Image


Image

Oh dear, oh dear. Who exactly in DCC is responsible for allowing this 7 storey block? Anyone know?
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby StephenC » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:49 pm

A brutal and cutting analysis of one of the most disappointing and shameful outcomes of the latter period of the boom. Well done Graham. The Times Building is certainly a sad indictment of the lack of vision, imagination and clarity of execution of so many built environment professionals from architects to developers to planners and professional staff at the Council. A real pity.
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Re: what now for Irish Times D'olier Street buildings?

Postby BTH » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:02 pm

Graham, this is a brilliant critique. Thank you for putting into words just about everything that is wrong with this development. It looks to me as if noone gave a damn about how this building would be finished, how it would look from O'Connell Bridge or how the historic building could be brought back to life in a sympathetic and elegant way. An absolute disgrace, HKR and the developers should hang their heads in shame (and be banned from designing or building any more dross...If only).

By the way, wait until the scheme for the redevelopment of the ESB offices on fleet street eventually gets going, also "designed" by HKR, Im sure another damning critique will be in order not least for the way it will unceremoniously poke its ugly head above the BOI on College Green when viewed from Grafton St. and Church Lane. How do they get away with it?
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